HAPPY BIRTHDAY, VICTORIA!!
By Kevin in Germany
Many of you have followed my wife (Maria Victoria) and my adventures since 2008. This adventure included a civil wedding in Kuwait on the last day of that year and a big, fun church wedding in Kuwait this past spring. (Click on the link to the wedding description at this wordpress.com line of my blog.)
Today is my wife’s, Maria Victoria (Baradero) Stoda, birthday.
I flew to Kuwait to visit my wife this past week—with the original week with the intention of bringing her to Germany to join me, my home, my church, my work, and my life here. (I already have her enrolled in a German course.) Alas, the Integration Office in Wiesbaden and other German officials have to-date unhappily and apparently unfairly delayed her visa.
At least I could take her out for dinner and be with Maria Victoria (Vik) at the time of her birthday. (Pray that the civil servants in Wiesbaden act as soon as possible on Vik’s visa.)
Maria was raised on Palawan Island of the Philippines. It is an island where many languages and dialects are spoken at homes, so Tagalong is known and used wisely to help peoples to get along with one another.
“Palawan’s almost 2,000 kilometers (1,200 mi) of irregular coastline are dotted with 1,780 islands and islets, rocky coves, and sugar-white sandy beaches. It also harbors a vast stretch of virgin forests that carpet its chain of mountain ranges. The mountain heights average 3,500 feet (1,100 m) in altitude, with the highest peak rising to 6,843 feet (2,086 m) at Mount Matalingahan. The vast mountain areas are the source of valuable timber. The terrain is a mix of coastal plain, craggy foothills, valley deltas, and heavy forest interspersed with riverine arteries that serve as irrigation.” [Wikipedia]
Palawan is on the western edge of the Philippines and is in the shape of a dagger pointing towards the Malaysia. It is the third longest island of the nation state with the most islands in the world. It is also considered by National Geographic to be one of the most beautiful islands in all of Southeast Asia for tourists to visit.
Chinese immigrations, dating over 2000 years ago, was followed by Malay and Borneo immigrations to the island in the centuries prior to arrival of the Spanish five centuries ago.
In short, there is a lot of mixed culture there, including new immigrants from across the Philippines.
Victoria’s father and mother came from Negros, another island group a days boat journey from Palawan and near the central part of the Philippines. So, Maria Victoria spoke several languages growing up on Palawan.
Dear Victoria, I am wishing you again a happy new year on this birth date of yours. I look forward to you coming to Germany soon and encouraging all who live here with your positive energy and charm.
Remember the Love of the Lord on this day:
“In your unfailing love you will lead
the people you have redeemed.
In your strength you will guide them
to your holy dwelling.” Exodus 15:13
Meanwhile, I Corinthians 13:4-7:
“ 4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
I am committed to work on this all.