Sunday, July 26, 2009

Summer Adventure part 2!

Yikes! Sorry I kind of disappeared for about three weeks, but here you go! I was sick for about a week, so...

Anyway, Saturday (July 11th) was the last day, and all the other girls (except Cy, and another girl and I) were scheduled to depart. It was a sad moment for us because we had sooo much fun and enjoyed the week so much we didn't want it to end. :-) We were able to exchange email addresses real quick, so now we keep in touch we each other. So we all said a general good-bye to all the Sisters Saturday morning, since almost everyone was leaving that day. After breakfast, we, as always, helped a bit in the kitchen, then helped with clean-up on the third floor (where our rooms were)! Since I can't dust, I was in charge of sweeping the living room, then helped Sr. Jerome (one of the Sisters that was assigned to Hawaii earlier this year) with making the beds, and then she taught us the 'Pauline Method of mopping'! It was tiring, but still fun, of course. Then Sr. Jerome, another girl and I went downstairs to get a quick drink of water before working in the St. Joseph Assembly Hall where we had most of our meetings and classes. While getting some water Sr. Jerome talked about the Mary Queen of Apostles statue that we've been seeing in the convent. I don't have a picture of the statue that's in the chapel (which is really pretty, btw), but I have a pic of the one that's in the... um, I forget. It's either upstairs somewhere, or in the assembly hall....
Too bad I don't have a picture of the one in the Chapel though. That one is my absolute favorite statue of Mary! Sr. Jerome told us a bit about it, like that it's the only image of Mary where she is holding Christ out, since her mission is to give Christ to the world, and she was the first apostle of Christ (something like that). That other participant and I really liked it, and we decided then that Mary Queen of Apostles was our favorite Marian title. So after that we were off to clean the assembly hall until we had lunch... and then we all said goodbye to the remaining girls (except one other one)

Cy and I had free time after 2:00 (Boston time), so another Sister (Sr. Margaret Timothy, who was also assigned to Hawaii!) gave us a tour around downtown Boston! Here we go!

...And we passed by the State House!! That's gold on the top! (I must be pretty heavy) There are pictures with Cy and I in it, but unfortunately I won't be posting anyone's faces, so... :-P

And it's Paul Revere!! I must've read about him a million times in my schoolbooks, so it was really neat to see the places where he was! (and we saw his house too!) There is a church in the background, but the sky was so bright, it wasn't able to show on the camera... oh well. We also walked along part of the Freedom Trail, that leads to the historic places in Boston. It's really neat! kind of reminds me of "follow the red brick road" or something... :-)

And I'm pretty sure this is the St. Stephen Church. I could be wrong.... Anyway, when we went inside there was music playing, and guess what? It was the Daughters of St. Paul music!! That was interesting... Sister was like, "That's our music!" "I thought it sounded kind of familiar..." I said. It was from an older CD of theirs, but still, that was pretty funny...

And the Boston Public Library!!!! It's gigantic!! We didn't go in, but we could easily see from the outside that it was big. There's another connecting building too!

Borders!! It's huge! (we don't have that big stores in Hawaii...well, maybe we do, but that would probably be in the tourist area...)

Seeing all these colonial-style and victorian houses/apartments were really neat. I've noticed that just about all the houses I saw were really nice and big!! There was another difference I saw between the houses here in HI than the ones over there, but I forget what it was...

We took a walk through the Boston Public Gardens! It's so pretty! They had all kinds of different flowers - some I've never seen before. And...and we saw a squirrel!!

Okay, you're probably all wondering why I'm excited about a squirrel, but there aren't any in Hawaii! That was my first time seeing a squirrel (I know, sad, isn't it?), and I've only read about wildlife, but never really actually seen much of them. And I saw a deer and a hawk for the first time in real life too. Well, in Hawaii you see sea turtles aaallll the time and occasionally some whales jumping around in the water, and maybe if you're lucky some dolphins too. Oh, and octopus, nene, and sometimes sharks, monk seals, and definitely some mongoose.... :-P

And we saw a swan at the park too! There's another 'pond' that I don't really have a picture of, but it has a couple of fountains there, where kids play around the area like it's a water park. During the Winter, Sister told us, the water's frozen and it's used as an iceskating park.

Being around really tall buildings was interesting too... Even if I do live near the downtown area of HI, it's still really different and neat - It's not as big as Boston!

Okay, I think I'm running out of pics to show... after that, we kind of got stuck in traffic 'cause there was going to be a game at Fenway park that day. Fortunately, we managed to get back to the convent in time for dinner! We were a little late, but we were able to catch some of our friends and some of the Sisters we knew. After dinner (and dessert - some awesome cupcakes made by one of the remaining participants and her sister, who's a Daughter of St. Paul preparing for her final vows!) Then a little later we all gathered upstairs in the dinette and watched Sense and Sensibility (the one with Emma Thompson in it)! I almost fell asleep though (not that the movie was that boring, it was good!), it was a long day, but a fun day. But I'm glad I didn't go to sleep early - I wanted that day to last. Then we all said good night to each other, then everyone went to bed. The first thing I did was take my contacts off - I think I went over my limit of hours to wear them. Oh well.

Next day we woke up at 7:00, packed up our stuff, stripped the beds, then replaced them with fresh sheets. Kind of hard to believe that it was the day to leave... :-( We took our things downstairs then made a quick visit to the Chapel. I'm almost burst out in tears right there, but I bit my tongue and tried to hide it. On the way going out, one of the senior Sisters, Sr. Rita, hugged us and told to come back soon. I hope so. It was sooo much fun being with them!!!

Next we gathered in the breakfast room, where all the sisters we knew were waiting for us. We had a small breakfast together, and then with talked with each other on our remaining time there. We got to catch up with two junior professed Sisters there, Sr. Maria Kim and Sr. Emi Magnificat (who were also assigned to Hawaii some years back). It was nice to see them again! Then we took a group picture and said our last goodbyes. It was sad. :-( Hard to believe it was exactly a week ago, when we just arrived! Sr. Margaret Michael then said, "Come back next year!" (I hope so too!!!)

Then the airport....again. :-P Ugh... the flight going back to LA was kind of dreary, with all the clouds and nothing much to see. But towards the end it was actually nice. I still really missed Boston though. I spent most of the time listening to classical music and staring out the window, reminiscing already. When we got to LA we waited and ate a snack during our scheduled 2hr layover. Cy and I just kept on talking with each other our awesome experiences with them! We also (because sometimes we didn't sit at the same table) told each other stories that the Sisters shared with us, like their vocations stories. They were all so cool! We were informed of a delay, something about the flight attendants getting the plane ready and cleaned up. Anyway, we kept talking even after we boarded the plane, until we realized something wasn't right... the plane didn't take off. We were informed that there was something wrong with the cockpit, and that the warning lights were on. So back we went, to the gate and terminal. There was a person who was sitting beside us, worried that he might miss his connecting flight to Kona, and he couldn't speak English very well so... poor guy. So we helped him a bit and he was able to reschedule his flight. In the end, everyone with connecting flights to Kona or Maui missed their flights. The AA people made up for it and even gave everyone a free meal coupon. So I bought dinner and shared it with Cy. And yes... in the end our layover did end up being 7 hrs... again. :-P But once again it didn't seem like 7hrs. Cy and I just kept talking with each other, and we also kept in contact with our parents and two of our aunts. One of them, our aunt that lived in CA told us 'why not just ask the AA people if you can stay with me for a week?' then she went on about it... That would've been a really nice idea but right when she was talking about it, it was time to board the plane. There were groans of 'finally!' and one guy even said on the plane 'Oh good, we're only 5hrs late!' That resulted in a laugh around the area.

I was dead tired so I fell right asleep. It seemed like a never ending night, going from LA to HI in the dark. We arrived in HI safely (thank God!) around 11:45 pm.

Our week was filled with loads and tons of fun!! I loved the Visit with Jesus everyday (hour of adoration), and Mass too! Their life, mission, and spirituality is just totally amazing!!!! I really hope Cy and I can attend the program next year!! :D

To close friends 'n family: If you like, I can try to send you an album with several of our pictures of our trip. Just email me or my mom (and she can forward your email to me), so that I can send you the link.

(P.S. We saw the following Sister bloggers!!!)

postulants Emily & Sylwia, and we met the novices too

Sr. Anne Joan I didn't get to actually meet her, but I saw her.

Sr. Bridget Ellis Forgot to mention that we even got to see the recording studio!!

Sr. Margaret Charles btw, she also came to Hawaii and we had shave ice together with some of my siblings!

...And I think that's it... But just in case I missed anyone I'll be sure to include them here, too. Hope the rest of you guys have a great summer!!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Summer Adventure - St. Paul Summer Program!

Really! It really was an adventure for Cy and I. ^_^ Mahalo nui loa (Thank you very much) for all your prayers!!!

We traveled across the United States, from the Pacific Ocean to the next! It was the farthest we've been from home, but not once I felt homesick. (well, I did feel sick when we got there, but not homesick) Yep! So from Hawaii, aaall the way to Boston to the Daughters of St. Paul Motherhouse!

Oh gosh, I don't even know where to start! I have to say that it was the best and most memorable Summer Vacation ever. =D I think I took almost 500 something pictures last week - July 4th to July 12 actually. And I took some videos.
Hm, I guess the beginning would be the best place to start, huh? :-P :-)
So we woke up extremely early on July 4th to catch our 7:15 flight to LA where we would have our 7hr layover. We didn't really miss out on the fireworks - some locals in Hawaii do fireworks even if it's not fourth of July... So yeah. 7 hours of waiting... It wasn't that bad, it was actually a lot better than I thought it would be. I brought several card games and books to read but I didn't even use the cards or finish reading the books. So we hung out there for a while, and ate dinner and stuff... What was really nice is that the American Airline people allowed Cy and I to board the plane before the other groups (except first class of course) so that they made sure that they wouldn't leave us behind. So we were on our way to Boston! =D

I tried sleeping on the plane... and only managed three hours in the end or so. I was too excited and nervous to sleep anymore so we stayed away until we landed. Poor Cy didn't sleep...

We ended up arriving some several minutes earlier than schedule. That was nice too. Fortunately, we didn't have to wait too long before a couple of the Sisters picked us up! (hurray!) That was so sweet of them! :-)

Hm, well at first I was sure that I wasn't sleepy. But the time we arrived there (Boston time) was 7: something.... which meant it was 1 or 2 something in Hawaii time. So after arriving, eating a quick breakfast and seeing some familiar Sisters (who were in Hawaii some time ago) we kind of just collapsed in our beds.... and slept until 12 that day (still Boston time).

Then the two Sisters who picked us up earlier that day gave us a little tour of the Motherhouse. It was huge!!!! I'm thinking it must be twice or three times as big as a regular Costco store. We probably only saw 1/3 or even 1/4 of it. There were so many hallways that lead this way and that! To me it was like a really cool maze! I must've gotten lost like...3 times I think. :-) But it was sooo fun!!! We got to see the main parts of the house, and where we would have our meetings and where we needed to go - the Chapel (which is really beautiful!), the dining area, the assembly hall where we would have our classes, and our rooms of course.

I have to fastforward some parts otherwise this would probably be such a long post that you'd probably get bored with....:-P

Anyway... The next day (Monday afternoon when all participants arrived) we got started. What better way to start the program than in the Chapel with an hour of adoration? :-) That was really nice.

During the week...
The program was lead by Sr. Margaret Michael (the vocations director) and Sr. Tracey. They both did such an awesome job! I really enjoyed hearing both of their vocations stories. Everyday we had Mass in the morning, an hour of adoration (aka Visit with Jesus :-) ), and Lectio Divina every night before bed. After breakfast we all helped out in the kitchen! We had a couple of game nights where we would play card/board games and other games! There was Confessions on Thursday too. We also had really fun morning stretches almost everyday, but I think we all had a nice workout climbing up and down the stairs (our rooms were on the third floor). I have to admit that it was pretty fun going up and down the stairs. Looking down the stairway didn't feel that great though....

One of participants of the program said that another Sister said that when she was younger she used to drop things down there to watch it fall...

We had really great classes which were fun and sometimes funny! Sr. Margaret Michael gave an introduction to Pauline Religious Life.

Then Sr. Diane gave a little tour in the historical room (I forget what's it's really called) and told us how the Pauline Mission began in the USA. Then another Sister gave a tour of the Publishing House (which was really amazing!) And Sr. Carmen Christi gave a class on Mother Thecla, the Co-Foundress of the Daughters of St. Paul. I liked how she described her as 'in tune' with the Spirit. :-) We also had an awesome writing track led by Sr. Maria Grace. That was the best writing class I've ever had! 0_0 =D Part of our writing track was to watch 'Little Women' and we went to the house where the author grew up (she had a little sister who was an artist who drew on the walls of the house (no seriously, she did) , so it was kind of a combination of writing and art). We also had an Art track which I was looking forward to. ^_^ That was really fun. We went to an Art Museum too! We studied a painting of the Annunciation, and our assignment was to picture ourselves as a vessel for God like Mary... then sculpt it. =D I was aiming for a pot or bowl or something, but it ended up being a basket in the end.

Then we had a Media Night led by Sr. Christina! That was fun. (Yeah, I know I keep saying 'that was fun', but it really was!!! The entire program was my favorite!!!!)

On Friday, we had a little silent retreat. I really liked that. It felt good to be around silence and have time to be on our 'date with Jesus' :-) And it wasn't that difficult either. It was actually refreshing. (I've been on a silent retreat before too) It was only half a day too.
Later on after lunch we had our little outing as a group. That was the same day we went to the Alcott Museum (the author of Little Women s house)!

(The school that was on the side....)

(And the house!)
Unfortunately, like the Art Museum, taking pictures inside was not allowed. Oh well... It was really cool, but I don't think I can post all about it here...

After that we went to Bedham (at least, that's what I think it's called) for icecream! A kiddie cone is huge!!

Then we visited the Pauline Bookcenter in Dedham! I forgot my camera in the car so I didn't get to take any pictures inside... so you'll have to visit the Pauline Bookcenter where you are to see what it looks like! :-)

Then we had our last gathering night together. The junior professed Sisters arrived the day before so they were able to join us! We even got to meet the postulants! It was really really really fun!!!!! Everyone laughed soo hard that their faces turned red and started crying! We had awards too - some really hilarious ones (because there were so many jokes made along program) and some really nice ones. (Pencil sharpeners are extremely dangerous!!!! lol ) And the Sisters made a nice slide show of the entire week. Some of us cried because for most of them that night was the last night they would spend together. Then we all shared about the sculpture of our vessels and I played a song on the piano. ^_^ Now every time I play that song I'll think of that fantastic and memorable week! Then we had a final group picture taking and we all had a group hug!!

Most of the participants left the next day (Saturday). It was really sad to say goodbye, but at least we gave each other our email addresses so that we could keep in touch. (there were 8 girls all in all)

And last pic... Sr. Tracey did the lettering for the banner! Isn't her art amazing?! =D Oh yes, and we wanted to emphasize the impells part.

We all (the participants) had such a great time and learned so much! (Besides the important facts on 'rolls being brownies, and brownies being rolls', and to never ever bring along a metal pencil sharpener on the airplane... :-P ;-) ....) We all had such a memorable summer and a lot of us wished it wouldn't end! The Sisters were really like family to us.... We were had so much fun seeing what their life was like, and learning more about their amazing mission of spreading the Word of God through the media, and we were able to experience a little bit of it! :-D

Ugh... my brain's not working properly so I'm going to have to leave it at that right now...

P.S. We also had a tour of the downtown Boston area on Saturday since Cy and I left on Sunday. If I ever get the time and if I'm feeling up to it I'll try to post some pictures of that too, and more.... It's probably not a good idea to post something when you've arrived home 12 midnight...

Anyway, hoped you guys enjoyed this post. It's night time in Boston right now so I'm getting kind of sleepy.....

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I know it's a little late but.....

Cy and I went to the one last year and I thought that was really cool. Several of my friends from church are going so...:-P

Fr. Jon Cabico (who was just ordained last Monday...I took lots of pictures and a couple of videos, but for some reason the sd card won't work so I can't post it :-( ) said the homily on the last year's discernment day (back then he was Deacon Jon Cabico). One of the really awesome reasons he makes such a great priest is that I heard Bishop say just minutes before the Mass, "You're doing the homily, right?"
Then (Fr.) Jon Cabico said, "Oh, I am?" And he made an awesome homily!!
I thought that was pretty cool. He used the phrase "Dynamites come in small packages" (though I never heard that phrase before :-P ). And I think the Gospel for that day was the one about Zachaus and Jesus telling him to come down from the tree. Sometimes God can use the smallest, most unexpected people, and ordinary people to do the extraordinary that he wants us to do. (I'm kind of short for my age, so I liked that) And I'll leave the rest of the thinking to you...

Btw, could you keep my sister Cy and I in your prayers? We're traveling to Boston early this Saturday for the St. Paul Summer Program. (which is why I won't be going to that other retreat) This'll be the farthest we've been from home and the first time on the east coast for us and we're not used to traveling. :) But we're both excited. ^_^ TY! I'll try to post pictures and maybe a video of the trip when we get back!