The Learning Curve


This image reminds us of a new job, a new study, a project or a research. But I discovered that this is also very true in a new relationship, especially our modern “online dating” when you’re trying to find your life partner.

I thought that men and women who decide to be together at 65+ would want to stay together till death do us part for lack of better ‘candidates’ and future more suited partners. But I guess, I’m mistaken.

They are as fickle-minded as the 16 year-olds. Unbelievable!

However, probably due to experience and more ‘wisdom (?)’ they’re patient and persevering and normally like the weather, they wake up to the reality and follow practicability. In the end, I would still recommend hooking up after the age of 65.

You’ll be surprised, as I was.




Should I Stay or Should I Leave?

Blogging is like a relationship to me. It has to be nurtured continuously. There must be a strong commitment, passion and love for what I do. If I don’t have the chemistry with my readers, with my fellow bloggers and with my own writing, I lose interest. Then it will be a relationship in demise, an “Out of sight, Out of mind” experience.

AT first I thought that blogging is easy. I thought that I am a good writer. I thought that I have more than enough life experience in my world travel that is worth sharing with mankind. I even thought that I can write for a living on a part time basis during my retirement. I was surprised at my short disappointing experience with blogging. And it brings me back  to the “existential” angst of being human; the meaning vs. meaninglessness of life, loving vs. isolation and freedom of choice, etc.

Finding myself in a crossroad, whether it is in my relationship (and/or blogging) has never been easy. I have to learn how to reach out and ask for help (which again was difficult for me) but I guess if I want the relationship (and/or blogging) so bad, then I better prepare for the impossible.

A Journey of a Lifetime: An Invitation

With the 7.2 billion living souls in the world today, how do we connect to one another and hear other people’s story?                                                                                            Like many of you, I kept journaling for years. A journal in every country that I have visited but never published an article. Maybe this is the right time & the right place.

I went to Cambodia and befriended some Khmer Rouge Soldiers while assisting the people in choosing their own leaders after 20 years of silence. In the Philippines I worked directly with some members and leaders of the New People’s Army in their attempt for political reforms. The same thing happened in Nepal when I ended up recruiting Human Rights Lawyers in response to the Maoist’s demand for a change in the country’s leadership and policies.

Why am I always caught in the middle of a country’s transformation and rebels’ causes? Is it because of my rebellious personality? Is it because of a particular “coping skill” that I learned as a child? Or is it because of my values and worldview about Justice, Fairness and Equality, and that of “Being Human.”

Looking back in Cambodia…..20 years after

It was my first travel out of my country and ten minutes before the plane took off, I arrived at the check-in window. The man who was kind enough to check my passport and ticket in seconds told me to literally run to the gate so I could catch the plane. He also said that I should have been there two hours before. Two of my colleagues were already on their seats when I entered the plane. I sat somewhere farther, but I didn’t mind. Just glad that I made it!

We arrived in Bangkok in the middle of the night but were not allowed to go to our hotel because there were military officials in the airport and we were told later that there was a ‘coup d’etat’ in the country. After several hours of negotiation between the UN Representatives and some country/military officials, we were finally whisked out of the airport but the other passengers remained inside.

I was thinking, “Is this a premonition of what’s going to happen to this mission?” I joined the UN Transitional Authority in Cambodia to help in the biggest international election in the country. As a Civic Education and Training Specialist, I was supposed to teach Human Rights and Democracy in Cambodia and in the latter part, I will have to change my job title into a District Electoral Supervisor on a different mission.

As an Electoral Supervisor, I trained 130+ Cambodians as Registrars and during the election, 25 of them, the brightest and smartest in the group helped in the polling site. They helped make the whole mission a total success with 96% of the 30,000 adult population in my district (including the members of the Khmer Rouge) registering and voting for the first time after 20 years.

During the entire 14-month mission, we were allowed to go back to our home country and see our family every four months. I have to go through Bangkok to go to my country and every time I got out of Cambodia, there would be a sigh of relief thinking, “Thanks God, I made it alive.” Then when it was time to go back to continue my mission I would say to myself, “Are you crazy?”

When everything is over, I vowed not to go to a war-torn country anymore. However after 20 years I visited a group of Cambodians during one of their anniversary celebrations and witnessed how their children and the young ones are enjoying the exotic dances and learning the Cambodian language and culture while their parents are trying so hard to make their life in America better and to continue their legacy as a culture and a nation despite being in the dark for more than four decades.

This time I feel a sigh of relief for being a part of the Cambodian history. Will I go to another war-torn country after Cambodia? You bet!

Lost in Transition

Have you ever experienced feeling alone amidst a group of people around you? When one day you wake up, open your mail box, anticipating a good news about a job or expecting mails from some of your dearest friends, and/or, from a significant other and there was none? That’s an awful feeling and that’s what happened to me when I moved from Asia to America.