1/13/2018

Getting to Know You


All the exhilarating essentials that make our clan look forward to our annual reunion was in place, except for one additional bonanza. Our 73rd reunion was hosted by the sub-clan whose over 30 members live in the US. And majority of them flew in to attend it!

This three-day-two-night event was planned entirely abroad. Except for some assistance from a local executive committee, everything—from the theme, logo, advertising, activities to communications—originated from across the miles. Social media made it all possible; it bridged all gaps.

It was Broadway time.

"Getting to Know You" from The King and I musicale served as a most fitting theme since many of the reunionites (or clanistas as we call ourselves) have not met the hosts for years, or at all.

Broadway it was, too, because one of our nieces is a Broadway star, who has played many major roles in different musicales over the years. Ali Ewoldt currently plays Christine Daae—the first Asian-American to be cast thus—in the long-running Phantom of the Opera

(Photo from Rodney Ingram's website)
We have a newsletter, edited by son #1, which details all activities, but because it has limited pages, it could not document all the untold grace through kin who came from all parts of the world.  Each one, therefore has his own heart newsletter, and this one’s mine.

The riot began at registration (total 206, an unprecedented number) when cousins, nieces, nephews, grannies, aunts and uncles—ages one year to 89—saw each other again. I, for one, could not believe that the cousins of my childhood were just a hug away, and my soul clock yo-yoed between the happy past and the happier present.

Ours is a competitive, no-kyok (this word deserves a separate post; for now, I’ll simply define kyok as, “Perform or else!”) clan and so everyone gave his all in the games, sports, talent night, videoke, etc. 

(The yellow team, to which I didn't belong, was the over-all champion in all events.)
(Top photo: Ali Ewoldt performing with her sub-clan.)
A solemn memorial/thanksgiving service officially opened the reunion, after which every good and noisy thing erupted. Divided into teams, our version of the Olympics began.

We have grown too big to fit our traditional love-circle into any hall. So we made do with a squiggly shape to re-enact for the 73rd time the “The Tie That Binds” (our hymnal battle cry) to say goodbye to 2017 and welcome 2018.

Holding on together, we sang old favorites and after a thanksgiving prayer by our resident pastor, our oldest clanista started the electric handshake and then, 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1, HAPPY NEW YEAR!

And I sang . . .

Suddenly I 'm bright and breezy,
Because of all the beautiful and new
Things I'm learning about you (all 200 plus of you!)
Day by day.   

Photos by nephews Egay and Noel

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