My aunt left the Philippines three years ago to work abroad - as most Filipinos do. Today was the first time I'd seen her since then. She was lucky enough to come and visit us here on vacation with her employers. She said that she'd 'only dreamt of ever coming to see where we live', something I hear a lot from my family in the Philippines.Three years abroad also means three years away from her husband and children. Today was also the first time she saw them on Skype. The first thing my aunt said when she saw her daughter (10) was 'Anak, ang taba mo! Mag diet ka please!' Ha. Don't you just love family reunions?
Anywho, it made me wonder how one could be away from family for that long. It's no secret that life is hard in the Philippines, and as far as my aunt is concerned she works abroad for the money, for her children and for their future. Pretty admirable in my opinion. Although the numbers make sense, it doesn't make it any easier.
On her day off, the family played tourist in taking her around the city. We saw the usual haunts: Houses of Parliament, Trafalgar Square etc. It was not the best day to be travelling around town. It was scorching, the kind of weather that makes public transport seem like slow cookers, makes it acceptable to be wearing flip flops, and leaves you feeling like a sticky toffee pudding (perhaps not as sweet though).
I won't bore you with how my gran interrogated a police officer, or how a girl tried to ask a member of the household cavalry out whilst he was on duty. Just scroll down and aimlessly stare at some photos.