Monday, March 21, 2011

Are you homesick?

I am finally writing this one. This is for Daisy who has encouraged me to write this piece since January I think, and all the families whose loved ones are situated away from home.

Now I know how it feels to be an OFW who gets sick abroad.

It’s intensely emotional, tough, confusing, and even bordering on hopelessness.

It’s okay when you’re healthy. Try being sick and your world turns upside down. First, you need to make sure you eat three full meals daily and snack bites in-between so you are well-fed and nourished. Otherwise, you’ll get sicker. Imagine being sick and not eating.

Second, you need to see a new doctor. If you are new in the city, you need to rely on the help of your colleagues and company nurse to assist you. You also need to rely on the support of your colleagues for transportation requirements.

You anchor on the compassion and mercy of colleagues and new friends. That’s how simple and complex it is. You have no family and relatives to turn to. You are in a new place after all. Everything is new to you.

Then your feelings of being alone, homesick, lonely and disconnected become more pronounced because hey, you are sick. You miss home. You miss your family. You miss the comfort of being in your own room, in your own bed.

Then you start asking, “Is this worth it?”

Well you see my friends, we only see the beauty of an OFW’s life. Travels. Perks. Chocolates. New condo. Car. Vacations. Our eyes are selective.

We simplify the emotions he goes through as he leaves his children and home. It’s tough.

On top of that, he has to contend with a demanding job like his whole life depends on it. He has to adjust with a new work environment; cope with new bosses while maintaining his seemingly tough exterior but marshmallow interior. And yet, we only see the outside. We fail to understand what’s going on inside.

Oh well, I only desire to elevate to a higher level of understanding the fact that OFWs are human, too. And because of that, we also need to understand and appreciate their simple but complex humanity.

Try that.

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