I only knew two German words before and those are: ‘’Danke’’ und ‘’Guten Tag’’ because of the German band ‘’Tokio Hotel’’. Other than those words, I never had the interest to learn more.
It was maybe a year before or months before I studied German when my father told me and asked me at the same time that Germany is already open for nurses and that perhaps if I wanted to study German.
I find it ridiculous that time. Me? In Europe and in Germany? I thought inwardly. No way. I was pining for USA or Australia but Germany, no, it wasn’t in my list that time.
So, I have downright refused my father’s suggestion, little did I know that I had almost begged my parents to send me to a German school a couple of months after.
German. Germany. Those words have not bothered me while I was reviewing for board exam after graduation. I was hoping like other aspiring nurses to land a job in the land of milk and honey. To pass the National Licensure Examination for nurses is our stepping stone.
Everything fell into place. I reviewed, applied for the exam (which was not at all easy, getting in front of the PRC Branch Davao office when others are still sleeping, just to get this priority number, everyone wished to be at the front or at least the first on the line when the office opened up at 7 am, bad news, it didn’t work that way), then I took the exam and waited agonizingly for the announcement when will be the release of the list of the new Registered Nurses of December 2013 NLE.
Then on the 15 of January 2014, the big event came. My father wasn’t surprised at all and was very nonchalant about it, really expected that I would make it. My mother, hmm well, cried… mothers, women…
Congratulations poured. Calls came (overseas and local). After the celebration and living the dream as a new Registered Nurse, came the question. A big, WHAT TO DO NEXT?
Jobless. That was my status after having that appendage to my name. Hopeless. I didn’t want to work as a nurse in my country when I only get 50 pesos a day. I have a friend who opened that topic of Germany again, saying that she knows somebody who works in a German school in Manila and that school is connected to an agency which sends nurses abroad.
That had somewhat caught my attention. Abroad. Learning a new language. That sounded promising for someone who doesn’t know what to do and is jobless. I had glimpsed a flicker of hope and it reminded me what my father told me months ago. He was right, after all.
We were not rich, no, we are not rich, that’s why when I came to tell my parents about everything (including the cost and expenses, of course), I also told them that I wanted to pursue this German job. Of course, my father butted in, ‘’I told you so…’
Given. He was indeed right. But my mother who was like the financial manager in the family, worriedly and sadly told me, ‘‘Where can we get money for that?’’ My hope was suddenly crushed. But I didn’t give up. My mother suggested that maybe I could talk to my cousins abroad and they could lend me money and support me.
I did but it wasn’t successful.
I met my friends again and told them the bad news that I couldn’t go to Manila and study German, and just wished them good luck. That was sad but I didn’t give up. One month before the class started when we heard that maybe we could avail the non-really-existent program ‘‘study now, pay later’’.
I called to verify it and received an answer right away, there wasn’t really ‘‘study now, pay later’’, but it is negotiable. That’s the beginning of hope.
Days passed. The urge to pursue that new dream didn’t falter. I waited for a miracle. Or maybe for a solution on how can I go to Manila.
While waiting, I spent my time reading. Imagine, I downloaded a German book and some photos with German phrases on them (I didn’t even know how to say them right that time). I studied anyway as if I would really go to this German school. I just don’t lose hope that fast.
I began memorizing the German numbers from 0-10, opened the German book in PDF form and procured some ideas about the grammar, say, accusative and dative, why the articles ‘‘the’’ changed from ‘‘der’’ to ‘‘den’’. My English knowledge had simply helped me.
I didn’t know what came into me or if somebody suggested it to me, but I did write the owner of the school with the email subject, ‘Request’. I asked her if maybe she could grant us this ‘‘study now, pay later’’.
Surprisingly, I received an answer. Another hope. One of my friends already flew to Manila, to study German, and I was left in our hometown, hoping against hope. My friend also contacted the owner that maybe she could grant my request because I am goal-oriented and very interested to learn the language.
The owner after exchanging emails with her, is happen to be a retired doctor from Switzerland, and she suggested that maybe we could have a Skype conversation. I was filled with hope and also a bit feeling of dread. Skype conversation didn’t happen anyway until the class A1 had already started and I’m still in my hometown.
Then at last, my cousin had agreed to help me with the costs and also we could get a discount from the language school. I was happy and sad at the same time. I’ll be leaving my family to pursue my dreams, but I had to. My mother was also sad and told me while we were eating a day before I depart for Manila, that I don’t have to go and we could still live together.
That was like a knife in my chest, it was painful, it was heart-wrenching but I didn’t show it to her.
I still went through it and decided to leave. My mother had wept at the airport, my father had teary eyes, but I kept a straight face the whole time and didn’t show to them that I wanted to cry too. Part of me wanted to stay with them and thought how nice it is to be with my parents, being at home, with my pets but I have to be independent and spread my wings that I could also pay them back for everything they have sacrificed for me.