CDO: The Second Time Around
It was past midnight when I finally settled in my bed at Grand Central Suites, Cagayan De Oro (CDO). My first trip to CDO was in 2013 and in five years, changes have rendered the landscape unfamiliar, including the new airport, which was now a one-hour drive to the city.
God's grace of sleep came instantly, preparing us for the 8 AM first event.
Oro Christian Grace School is a huge Chinese school—in structure and population. I was privileged to meet every single one of the officers, teachers, and staff before the storytelling of Dump Truck in My Heart.
The kids screeched and applauded when I entered the library and the delightfully raucous and riotous affair began.
The children were vocal; they asked questions and volunteered comments.
As in all of my book tours, it is during the book signing that I get to know my readers up close. I could write another book with all the things they tell me!
Next stop in the afternoon, after a lunch treat by the school pastor/chaplain and his wife, was Corpus Christi School, another humongous campus that teemed with teachers and students. There were more questions, and I had to fish out from my reply reservoir some quips that would bring on more of their endearing titters and giggles.
In both affairs, I earned maybe a thousand new friends whose names my brain will not remember, but whose warmth my heart will never forget. It was all worth the late night sleep and early morning rise.
When I first traveled to CDO for Compassion International, I thought I'd never pass that way again. I erred. To borrow the lyrics of a song, “It is lovelier the second time around.”