Keep the Faith, Nurture the Hope

Monday was labour day and many people who had homes within driving distance drove home. Ryan (my roommate if you didn't already know) went back as well. It was a funny nostalgic feeling, having my room to myself again. So far the fact that I have a roommate living with me in the very same room has yet to establish itself in my head. It feels like a sort of short-term arrangement. Maybe after a few more weeks I'll forget what life in this room alone feels like.
I hit the books pretty hard this weekend, writing three papers and finishing most of my readings in a single day. It was nice to have Monday off to relax myself. There are times I wish I had a car. I cycled to the American Red Cross Headquarters today for an orientation program. I have to volunteer some twenty hours this semester to fulfill my scholarship requirements. It also happens to be one of my class requirements. I thank God I have this chance to kill two birds with one stone. The Red Cross HQ looked SO close on the map. It wasn't all that far, but cycling on a busy road where teen drivers often run amok is not something I look forward to. Oh, do you know that the word "cycling" is not in the American vocabulary? Here they say "I rode my bike to the HQ" rather than a nice condensed form of "I cycled to the HQ". I had weird looks the first time I failed to clarify myself.
There was a huge piece of news for me this morning. My sister got accepted by the University of Arizona. Whether or not she comes is still a decision yet to be made. In some ways, I look forward to her presence. She's a part of home that would be with me. Yet I fear that the reason be solely selfish. I'm pretty sure she's more than able to handle herself here. Academically she might need a little adjustment but she'll do fine. My mother who persuaded her to apply seems to have changed her tune now that the prospect is so imminent. She fears that my sister would be too easily influenced by the evils of American culture. I know my sister well. Though younger than most of the freshmen here, she has a certain nonchalance about her that will protect her. She is not easily impressed by rich, well-dressed contemporaries. I am so glad for that trait. It is a stunning gem to her inner beauty.
Zahid and I were talking about how much we missed home. We both agreed it felt worse this time round. I don't know why. One reason could be that we were given a taste of the contrast between life at home and life here. It is not that Tucson is a bad place to be, but being amongst family and friends is always a welcome idea. Of course there's Faith. I miss her so very much. I often console myself that soon I'll be back by her side again, but when I look too hard it seems an eternity away. By God's grace, I will hold on.
Debbie has yet to contact me about meeting up. I have not seen her online. I really hope to see her before she leaves. Like Zahid said, it is as if a comrade has gone down in battle. "I nurtured the hope, if there was hope….that one day I will breathe free air…", Sean Connery said in "The Rock". I nurture the hope, and pray that it does not disappoint.

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