Farewell to SP

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It is both Joshua's birthday and the day that he leaves SP. Talk about intense. Writing this at 5AM. None of us can sleep. I hope it gets light soon. 
We all sat outside in the courtyard talking as a car pulled up. Out of the car stepped Mr. Marc who flew in from Japan. He flew back in hopes to see Joshua before he left. Joshua has probably been at SP longer than any other kid. It's been ten years of his life and now that is all going to change, We had a good talk for awhile and then stepped in for some pan de sal and adobo flakes while continuing our discussion about pretty much everything. As usual, the food has been great. We will miss that. Marc is a solid guy and this place that he built is amazing and filled with God's love and great people. I would suggest checking out their orphanage and mission and really consider adopting from SP if you are really ready to do such a thing. We consider them family and I know that this will be a very hard day for everyone. 
We packed our bags and headed over to take some pictures in unit 2 with the house parents and kids. For lunch we had some awesome homemade pancit and lumpia with Mama Gena, Papa Joe, and the kids in unit 1 where Joshua lived. Joshua's house parent's and family at Samaritans Place were awesome people. We were only there for 3 days but really got along well and will miss them for sure. They told us stories from their home in Mindanao and then about their way of life in that area. Simplicity is the key. I think that translates through all cultures.We all get so wrapped up in the stress and complexities of life that we don't take a step back and enjoy the basic things that are actually fulfilling. 
After lunch we had a short Skype session with Mrs. Marilen, Marc's wife. She was very close to Joshua and was unfortunately not abe to be there for the farewell. The entire day was very emotional including the Skype session. Mrs. Marilen seems like a great lady as well. Mang Ramon pulled up in his car and we grabbed our bags. We had a very emotional picture taking session and goodbyes. It's really hard to explain or document this moment so I've been struggling on how to write it. How do you put the emotion of so many people all of different ages and experiences into words? How do you compress 20 minutes of extreme feeling together and somehow express it? Well, we still get a little teary when we look back on some of the pictures from that day. I can only imagine how he must feel.
We pulled away slowly, as if Mang Ramon knew something we didn't, and rounded the block. As we slowly passed where the the SP jeepney was parked, we saw the whole crowd waving goodbye. That was a nice touch, and as you can imagine, lot's of tears... from everybody in the car. Up the hill and out through the gate. We were on our way back to Manila.

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