So Gino finally achieved his dream of travelling to Europe! He left Thursday for France to study in Provence at the University of Avignon, places that I could pronounce better with a cold. Lucky guy! No, this wasn't luck. He diligently pursued this opportunity.
We had a family despedida for Gino. My sister and her family were there and so was my mother who extended her vacation in BC to see him off. I cooked chicken wings and a ton of sinigang that Gino won't be eating for the next little while. Bud prepared a Thai shrimp dish. We also had lettuce mandarin salad with Japanese dressing, and some desserts, nuts, pop and chips. And of course, rice. There was nothing French in the menu. I could've used French dressing at least.
Mom and Gino with a new 'do
"Monsieur, mademoiselle, bon appetit," I called out to invite people to the dining table. "OK, that's all of my French," I quickly added. Actually, I have a few more in my pocket which will come in handy when I go to France...
Only Lola, Bud and I took Gino to the airport. No tears, only good wishes and God's blessings for Gino...
With Lola at the aiport
Back at home, I started cleaning up Gino's basement bedroom which will be occupied by Gabriel and Markus. Gino will be moving up to the second floor. As I put away his stuff and gathered his mess, that's when I began to cry. Gino will be away for four months in a foreign country! This isn't like the summer he went to Quebec on a student work program, or the four months he was in the US and Ontario working with Southwestern Company. He is across the Atlantic Ocean!
Last night, I kept checking my celphone and email for any word from France on his arrival. This morning I finally got an email from Gino saying that he had arrived and had visited Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower. All the while I was wondering if he had found the train station and his hostel... Did he get his luggage?... Does he have enough cash?...Did he bring warm clothing?...What, he left the granola bars!!... Is his laptop safe?... All these worries while he was already gallivanting, practising his French!
I am now at ease knowing that Gino is having a great time in Paris. He loves it there. He said he knew more French than he thought he did. He's been in long conversations with people. He leaves for Avignon on Monday.
Gino is spreading his wings and I am happy for him. This is stretching my faith as I learn to release him to God's hands. As much as Mother Hen would want to keep him under her wings, Mother Eagle would like to see him soaring. Thanks to the Internet, it would be easy keeping in touch with Gino for the next four months.
When Gino graduated from high school, I wrote him a card and blessed him and told him to go out there and conquer. I think he will do just that. He started it already. Of course, I would prefer to visit occasionally. I want to see France!!!
To Gino, Que Dieu te garde!