I was abruptly awaken by the shrillness of a hotel phone. It was the kind of sleep you get from absolute necessity. I had been up for 36 hours previous on an all night flight to Singapore. The voice on the other end quickly made me realize why I was here.
We have to back up to the beginning. Did you know that your life can change in a moment and set you on a course that you never thought possible? In that moment of change you don't even perceive the tidal wave that will come in your life! My brother and I were hanging out and talking one day in 2001, a day like any other. For some reason he mentioned about a conversation he had had earlier about someone who had married a woman from another country. I had been recently divorced in 1999 and was wondering about the direction of my life and how it would unfold. For some unexplained reason that idea was suddenly very appealing to me but I didn't know how to go about it. I know for some people this is a crazy thought. I have never been the type of person to always go along with what everyone else says. I had always had a seed deep in my heart to travel and experience the world. So when he mentioned this I was immediately attracted to the idea!
This was early in the computer age. 2000 was the year I had bought my first computer for $600.00! I had plenty of time on my hands after work and had found that I could chat with people from all walks of life and interests. The next night I came home I eagerly sat down at my computer and started looking at all the chat rooms available. Different cultures, topics and groups. They have political chats, foreign language chat etc. I stumbled into one "room" that is what they call them to find people chatting in a language I had never heard of. It was called Tagalog. I could see words and phrases that I had never seen before. They were chatting in a language I did not understand however there were English words interspersed amongst the Tagalog words. I learned quickly that this is the official language of the Philippines.
I posted a couple of times in English not knowing if anyone would even pay attention to me. Soon there was this person sending me an instant message and she was bi-lingual. How exciting I thought! She asked if I spoke Tagalog and of course I had to reply that I didn't. She was from Ohio but had moved to the U.S. from Singapore after growing up in the Philippines. I chatted with her for a few nights and looked forward everyday to talking to someone from another country. I have always been fascinated with people from other countries and cultures so this was outstanding for me! I found out that she had gotten married about 2 years before to an American. She asked if I was single and offered to send me an e-mail address of a friend of hers that lived in Singapore.
To be continued....