The month of love started my journey to meet other people from other courses and other countries. Given the job of an ORSEM officer, I wanted to know more of the processes, experiences, and duties of an exchange participant. Having only this in mind, I agreed to be an EP Buddy to an incoming Japanese exchange student. I had no knowledge about my incoming EP except her name, I didn’t even bother to search it on facebook for I didn’t have the time and the right push to know this certain person.
I felt guilt for not taking the time of knowing my EP beforehand. Well, knowing that the EP came from Japan gave me the idea that he/she will be picky with whom he/she will interact with. I had this thinking because I have a japanese uncle, who kind of chooses whom he will speak to and whom he wants to spend time with. 9th of the said month was the arrival of my EP and my EP was a girl^^ I was so happy because if it was a guy I think I will be really awkward with him because I’m not very good with interacting with the opposite gender. (lol effects of studying in an all girls school from preparatory to HighSchool) I promised myself that by the time she arrives I will do my very best to make her comfortable while she is here in our country. I was so sad to know I had class at the time of her flight so I couldn’t go with my Buddy in fetching her in the airport. But I did my best in making a sign for her. The following day, was the welcoming dinner of some of the Exchange Participants, my EP included. I felt mixed emotions for it will be my first time to meet her and the others and this dinner will also be my chance to meet the people I wasn’t expecting to be close with. I have never imagined that the following days would be so exciting that even if you have a fixed itinerary it will never go as planned.
I was never good in being spontaneous, I was trained to always follow and to align everything that I do according to plan. After the dinner, I had a lot more chances to see my EP again. First off, she asked me to accompany her to her workplace. The problem was that I wasn’t used to commuting and I felt sick every time I commute. But there were people who helped me along the way by teaching me the routes and the do’s and donts of commuting. Using the trains for the first time was a very nice experience. During my first ride, I had a realization that it wouldn’t be my last. And I was right. I learned a lot, buying stored value cards, learning different ways to go to their hostel and thinking of places that I can tour my EP and the other EPs around. I cannot deny that I have enjoyed a lot. I got the chance to go to places that I’ve never been before such as; intramuros, national museum, Mandaluyong, art museum and Chinatown. I also got the chance to cook for others, during the Chinese new year and the unplanned dinner that we had. I never expected that I will be as dedicated as I am in doing all of this to make them happy, and enjoy their stay here. Being assigned to one EP didn’t mean that you shouldn’t care for the other EPs. I don’t know if it was wrong, but I also interacted with the other EPs and have them join us whenever I planned to go somewhere with my EP. I also talked to them on Facebook or on Line whenever I can just to see how they were doing. I know it wasn’t my job to do so. But I felt that no one was supposed to be left out. For me, being an EP buddy wasn’t just a mere job, it wasn’t an obligation but a responsibility. I had so much fun with all of them and I enjoyed their company. The months of February and March were the most adventurous, fun, spontaneous, memorable, and meaningful months in my life; the trips, dinners, conversations, laughters and even tears that happened during these two months will forever stay in my heart. I will never forget the faces that I’ve encountered, people that I’ve spent time with, names that I always chat with. I will never forget each and everyone of you! I’m so thankful that I was able to assist you while you were here in our country. Thank you for letting me take good care of you! I hope that I have done my best! I suck in saying goodbyes, so I will just say see you soon! I believe that we will see each other again.