Hanna Fernando-Pacua (PHILIPPINES) temporarily leaves her comfort zone to travel, serve, and perform around the world in five months. She hopes to share with you this very meaningful experience.

Up with People provides students with an extraordinary semester of traveling the world. As a student your perspectives on the world will never be the same. UWP is for that certain student who's looking for an intense, hands-on, involved global educational experience. The program addresses the very real need for young adults and leaders who have global perspectives, intercultural understanding, knowledge of worldwide social issues, leadership skills and a dedication to community service. For more information, visit www.upwithpeople.org.

HANNA's SATTELITE SITE and GALLERY (+ photos, videos, calendar) http://www.bananaspinuwp.multiply.com/

Monday, 14 January 2008

The Best Kind of Folks

Up, Up with People!
You meet them wherever you go
Up, Up with People!
They’re the best kind of folks you’ll know!
f more people were for people,
People everywhere
There’d be a lot less people to worry about
And a lot more people who care!

We “Uppies” traveled the world to make an impact in the lives of others, but I believe that all the people I met along the way made a bigger impact in my life than I did on theirs.

My host families

Laurie and Bill Zempel from Denver, Colorado – their adorable Bichon, Max (stay cool!) , our host friend Gina and our host little sister Monay (I wonder how your writing is doing?) . Lesley from Arizona was my roommate. I remember the Red Rocks trip and watching Talladega Nights on a lazy Saturday evening.

Bruce and Kathy Garrett from their house-on-the-golf-course in Tucson, Arizona. May the Javelinas not stomp around and ruin your garden, and please keep Bruce away from Prickly Pear cacti (make sure to have Nair Hair Remover at hand because it can dissolve cacti thorns!). But if we can’t help but eat Prickly Pear, we can always wash it down with a White Chocolate Mocha from the drive-in Starbucks. I also miss Mexican Sopapillas and Bruce’s beef jerky! I did not have a roommate in Tucson, but we went to the Desert Sky Museum with my high school best friend Em.

Tim Trent and Daisy Flores from Globe, Arizona. I will never forget Carolin (Germany, my roommate!) and Mine’s bunk beds and our nice hot tub under the stars (with a frog in it!)

Bill and Patricia Turner from Sierra Vista, Arizona. I loved your West Point stories and I would never forget our Kartchner Caverns trip. Thanks a lot for introducing me to Emily and giving me my first taste of real Turkey. Gigi from Canada was my roommate.

I LOVED Terri and Ed Devine’s beach-themed home in San Diego, California. I wasn’t able to meet Ed at all, but I had fun with Terri and Niki (from the US, my roommate!) during that week. Terri was a UWP alumna! I remember our beach picnic trips, healthy salad and pasta dinners (but with sinful desserts! Mmm Ben and Jerry’s Turtle Ice Cream) and the Coronado island adventure! (Terri, awesome sack lunch for the bus, by the way! Thanks!!)

I shared Bob and Elaine Mattes’ home with 3 other roommates – Niki (again!), Tyrell, Gabe (all from the US!). I remember the ENORMOUS train collection from our room to the backyard. I still haven’t tried the lemon cookie recipe that you gave me.. I miss our steak and salad dinners!

Dick and Donna Finney lived about 30 minutes away from Winston, Oregon in a town called Roseberg. I stayed in their gorgeous home with Christine Paluf, Laurel, Amanda (USA) and Carolin (again! From Germany) – it was cool meeting their daughter and their granddaughter when we drove to another gorgeous home in the woods. I remember hot fudge sundaes !!!


Duane and Jacquee Hagans in Eureka California lived right across my favorite American store of all time – Michael’s Arts and Crafts! We drew lots and Sarah (USA) got the room with the moons and stars and Kellys (Venezuela) and I shared a mattress with Momma Cat. I still remember the chocolate rice krispies treats that Jacquee made! Plus that barbecue dinner we had with Josh and his host dad.

Pat diGiacomo from Coos Bay, Oregon certainly made mine and Suzanne’s (Netherlands) breakfast mornings enjoyable! The trip to the botanical gardens were simply breathtaking!

Barbara and Tom Cave in their squeaky old-fashioned home in Portland, Oregon. Thanks for taking us on a walking tour AND kudos for managing SIX Uppies! I was with Cassidy, Megan, Matt (USA) and Maria (Sweden), Lucas (Belgium). I only stayed with them for two nights, tho – because…

Family friends Tito Eric, Tita Vivian and Noelle Tadeo adopted me! They lived in Vancouver, WA, a 20 minute drive to Portland. We never did have time to go around but I was able to go shopping for make-up with Tito Eric (!), visit Noelle’s school, see Tita Vivian’s awesome bag creations and have dinner with other Pinoy friends.

Still groggy from a 30 hour bus ride from Portland to Las Vegas – I was greeted by my Uncle slash Host Dad Enrico Guamen. I saw Las Vegas as a big break as I stayed with my mom’s brother and was again visited by Tita Girlie and Tito Conrad (they visited me in Corcoran too!) Ah and I saw the ABBA Musical Mamma Mia with Elke from Belgium, courtesy of my Tita Girlie!

Valerio, Nadia and Michaela Bellani from Milano, Italy made my first encounter with the language barrier fun and interesting! Thank you so much for the coffee and pasta and gelato lessons! I JUST LOVE Italian Food! I did not have an Uppie roommate but Michaela was my host sister, and it was great to meet her Italian friends and seeing the Duomo at night! Grazie and until we meet again!

Klemens and Brunhilde Schmidt! My German host family who were simply the BEST and a big support while I was doing Advance Work ! Birte (my roommate, the CRC) had a great great time! The memories of staying in Prenzlau is so overwhelming but I especially remember losing my bike keys (and Klemens and Brunhilde are so forgiving…) and I wonder if it is still there at the Rathaus? Pretty Prenzlau, Beautiful Berlin , Rostock and Potsdam.

Everyday was fun day with Theo, Fiona, Lonneke, Femke and Dion Van Lochem in Dronten, the Netherlands. I think I got over my fear of dogs (or dog! Oh no I forgot his name!!! SKIPPER! Yes, I think was Skipper)!!!! and bicycles in Dronten. It was a great Halloween celebration with the girls ! The Raclette was unforgettable, as well as the nifty coffee maker. Joke (my roommate, from Belgium) and I loved riding the tandem bikes around the park!

Charlotte Colot from Leuven, Belgium, my 18-year old host mom. She introduced me to flat air mattresses, Belgian waffles and fries, Belgian chocolate and Belgian cherry beer. Charlotte slept at a friend’s house and let me and Sophie (from China) use her small room. It was fun though! She was also a UWP Alumna from Cast A 2007.

The UWP Staff

Whom I listed all under Cast B 2007 because staff or student, we are all cast B !

Cast B 2007 - 19 countries. 1 voice (or what I'd like to call the Big Brother House on the Road)

United States – Adam, Amanda, Andrea, Blaine, Cassidy, Gina (I love you I hope you make it for the Bayani build!), Grant, Jennie, Jeremiah, Jeremy (I hope you find a nice Filipina girl), Jessica (all the colors of the heart!), Josh, Katie (let’s name an ice cream flavor “ina-chukuwa, kijiji-kizima” ) , Laurel, amazing dancer Lesley, ounce girl Megan, Niki (Aloha!), Sarah, Tiffnie (go Asian food stores!), Tyrell (Tee-relll) , Vanessa (missing your laugh and our demon children) , Lauren, Mallory (hunt me down, okie?), Matthew, hyper Patrick, Laura, Jared, Scott, Ellen, Christine Paluf, Gabe, Kristina, Samantha

The Netherlands – Aimee (how’s shopping so far?) , Suze (I love you!)

Romania – Alecs (no baby yet … will keep you posted “ninang”)

Belgium – Benjamine, Lucas, Joke, Elke (marriage life is tough but it still rocks!)

Germany – sporty girl and ounce girl Carolin, stunning Stefan, Lysan (thank you so much for your pep talks), Marita (did you finally get a job?) and our Cast Manager Papa Jorn

Austria – Christine Profanter (I love you! I wonder what you are doing now…)

Mexico – Clara, Doctor Hector

Sweden – Maria, Johanna, Linn, Peppe, and my favorite rockstar Johan

Taiwan – Chien Fu (Jeff)

Venezuela – world leader Kellys

Macedonia – Mayor Ljuan

Panama – Luis Felipe (I miss you and your questions), lucky girl Whitney (you know what I mean!)

Denmark – Rasmus (big Filipino hug!)

Japan – the amazing adventures of Yuri (the video intern) and Sayuri (the education intern)

China – Sophie

Canada – Gigi, Raine

Brazil – Rafa-Rafa-Rafa!

Uganda – Ate Jules , you were my soul sister all throughout the trip. Thanks so much for
the laughs, the gossip, and the comfort that your presence offered me!

Special Mentions

Rafa, Alecs, Jules, Suze, Lysan, Johan, Mallory, Yuri, Christine, Luis Felipe, Elke, Marita, Rasmus à a special connection to all of you during the trip. I miss you all and I really look forward to seeing them again soon..

The Philippine Advance Team

Paul, Margaux, Luis, Yamil and Skoogle – thanks for braving Manila and preparing it for the cast. And of course Ana for braving the Cast while they are in Manila J and for at last giving me Pinoy companionship in the cast

Zest-O Corporation – 1 drink

Especially to Joseph Consul for eating Balut infront of everyone and was always there --- with an endless supply of Zesto, One Green Tea and Orchard Fresh (I love the dalandan and calamansi ones!) drinks.

The Department of Tourism, RC-Cola, ECOP, The Philippine Military Academy (special mention to Deputy Chief of Staff Gen. Tony Romero who made our PMA visit possible)

The Filipinos all over the World
(yes, even the ones right here at home) - meeting you made me look at our country and our people in a totally different light.

A billion thanks to all who supported me since the very beginning. I know I have been thanking you guys endlessly throughout the blog but there is no such thing as too much when it comes to appreciation (Remember that!!!) .

My mom and dad who raised me so well and have given me everything I ever wanted or needed – endless gratitude to you and I love you so much. My husband Sam who was such a good sport and continues to believe in me and my abilities, I love you!

My friends from Ayala Foundation and the FAFI group (you know who you are) who totally had confidence in me and knew that I can make it.. and also provided the much provided long distance emotional support – Nyla, Maui, Jops, Ave, Candice, Aque, Kakay, JJ, Aileen, Kiel, Chiara, Tito, Sarah, MY

My on-line “rallyists” who I may not know that well personally but still were there to give their virtual support – Alex, Geelay, Lee I , Maan, Kristene – plus the people who read my blog, especially those who left messages and comments … (you certainly kept me on my toes updating this!)

Of course, my sponsors who helped me financially as well as spiritually! Reynold from Hawaii, MAD and AGV from AFI, Ms Nicolas-Lewis, Ms Zobel (and Ms Pazing!) and Tita Rene from the Philippine Airlines. ENDLESS GRATITUDE from the bottom of my heart.

Prayer also made me strong throughout this adventure – again I thank God for making me so strong and brave ! And also for making my circle of good people wider!

PS. I also encourage you to please visit Matthew Erley's blog at http://matthewerley.blogspot.com/2008/01/last-farewell.html


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