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Grandma Series Volume Ii: Grandma's Travels  a Memoir

Grandma Series Volume Ii: Grandma's Travels a Memoir

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Grandma Series Volume Ii: Grandma's Travels a Memoir

Lunghezza:
408 pagine
5 ore
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Apr 30, 2013
ISBN:
9781481734172
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

Join grandma as she goes back to 1975, when her travels began. Ride, walk, fly or sail with her and explore the vastness and richness of the world. Visit the countryside, the cities, states and countries endowed with beauty and splendor; experience unique, new places full of surprises. Be awed by magnificent buildings, structures and ruins of the ancient world. Bask in the warm sunshine and the white beaches of the Caribbean or the Pacific Islands. Be enthralled by the magic of the Mediterranean sunsets, or marvel at the breathtaking views of the Alps. Enjoy flying over the blue skies, sail on the calm, smooth seas, or endure the turbulent oceans on modern ships with friendly crew who would pamper you with everything they have to offer.
On the other hand, accept the fact that traveling is not all fun. In pursuing pleasure, problems are inevitable, as grandmas travels indicate. Dont be discouraged. If you like to travel, go for it, when and while you can.
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Apr 30, 2013
ISBN:
9781481734172
Formato:
Libro

Informazioni sull'autore

Lydia Bongcaron Wade is an author of two books published by Author House, “Where Miracles Grow” and Grandma Series I.” “ Where Miracles Grow” is fiction, some parts of which are based on true events. Grandma Series I is a memoir. This book is a continuation of Grandma Series I. A teacher for 22 years and staff at Catholic Charities Senior Centers in New York for 18 years before she retired in 2007, she hopes to continue writing as long as she is able to. She believes in staying active physically as well as mentally. In-between writing, she travels considerably. This book is a detailed, straightforward account of her travels, told to her grandchildren, Stephanie, Alexandra and Gabriella.

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Grandma Series Volume Ii - Lydia Bongcaron Wade

GRANDMA SERIES

VOLUME II

Grandma’s Travels

A Memoir

Come with me, and off we go!

To places distant, near, ancient or new;

Where nature’s very best enchant, beguile, lure.

Charming villages, dazzling cities, beaches and more.

Walk, ride, fly, sail? let’s do all;

Come with me, the world we’ll explore!

LYDIA BONGCARON WADE

AuthorHouse™

1663 Liberty Drive

Bloomington, IN 47403

http://www.authorhouse.com

Phone: 1-800-839-8640

© 2013 by Lydia Bongcaron Wade. All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means without the written permission of the author.

Published by AuthorHouse 04/19/2013

ISBN: 978-1-4817-3418-9 (sc)

ISBN: 978-1-4817-3417-2 (e)

Library of Congress Control Number: 2013906185

Any people depicted in stock imagery provided by Thinkstock are models, and such images are being used for illustrative purposes only.

Certain stock imagery © Thinkstock.

Because of the dynamic nature of the Internet, any web addresses or links contained in this book may have changed since publication and may no longer be valid. The views expressed in this work are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher, and the publisher hereby disclaims any responsibility for them.

CONTENTS

Dedication

Acknowledgment

Introduction

Chapter 1

Grandma’s First Letter To Her Grandchildren

Chapter 2

En Route To Nigeria, West Africa, 1975

Chapter 3

Singapore, Malaysia

Chapter 4

Colombo, Sri Lanka

Chapter 5

A Roman Vacation

Chapter 6

Introduction To New York, U.S.A, 1985

Chapter 7

New York City, New York

Chapter 8

Niagara Falls, West New York State

Chapter 9

Albany, Rhinebeck, New Paltz, And Kingston, New York

Chapter 10

Atlantic City, New Jersey

Chapter 11

Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island

Chapter 12

Maryland And Washington D.C.

Chapter 13

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Chapter 14

South Carolina And Georgia

Chapter 15

The State Of Florida A. Miami

Chapter 16

C. Epcot Center

Chapter 17

New Orleans, Louisiana

Chapter 18

The Northeastern States A. Virginia

Chapter 19

B. Boston, Massachusetts

Chapter 20

C. Maine

Chapter 21

Vermont

Chapter 22

Seattle, Washington

Chapter 23

San Francisco, California, 2007

Chapter 24

Arizona

Chapter 25

Las Vegas, Nevada

Chapter 26

Wisconsin

Chapter 27

Houston, Texas

Chapter 28

Hawaii

Chapter 29

Chicago And Huntley, Illinois

Chapter 30

Land Travels Outside The United States Canada

Chapter 31

Germany

Chapter 32

Focus On Italy

Chapter 33

Unforgettable France

Chapter 34

Lourdes, France

Chapter 35

Onwards To Lisbon, Portugal

Chapter 36

Lovely Switzerland

Chapter 37

Austria

Chapter 38

The Netherlands (Holland)

Chapter 39

Sunny, Romantic Old Spain

Chapter 40

Bermuda

Chapter 41

The Philippines A. Manila

Chapter 42

Sydney, Australia

Chapter 43

Tokyo, Japan, Onwards To Philippines

Chapter 44

Lopez Jaena, Misamis, Occidental, Philippines

Chapter 45

Bound For Brazil

Chapter 46

Cruises, An Introduction

Chapter 47

First Cruise: Key West And Southern Mexico 1998

Chapter 48

Discovery Fun Cruise, Nov.1998

Chapter 49

New England Cruise, 2002

Chapter 50

12-Days Grand Mediterranean Cruise, 2006 On Carnival Liberty

Chapter 51

A. Naples And Capri

Chapter 52

B. Sorrento

Chapter 53

C. Mt. Vesuvius, Pompeii

Chapter 54

Messina, Italy

Chapter 55

Romantic Venice

Chapter 56

F. Verona, Italy

Chapter 57

G. Tuscany, Italy

Chapter 58

H. Dubrovnik, Croatia

Chapter 59

I. Barcelona, Spain

Chapter 60

7 Days Cruise To Southeast Alaska, June 2008 Sitka, Juneau, Skagway And Ketchikan

Chapter 61

13 Days Eastern Caribbean Cruise, Nov. 2008 A. Samana, Dominican Republic

Chapter 62

B. St. Thomas, Virgin Islands

Chapter 63

D. Castries, St. Lucia

Chapter 64

E. St. John

Chapter 65

F. Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas

Chapter 66

Introduction To 14 Days Cruise To South America, March 2009

Chapter 67

Problematic Start Of Cruise To South America A. Santiago, To Val Paraiso, Chile

Chapter 68

The Chilean Fjords, Punta Arenas, Cape Horn, Chile

Chapter 69

Montevideo And Punta Del Este, Uruguay

Chapter 70

Punta Loma, Puerto Madryn, Argentina

Chapter 71

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Chapter 72

Nassau, Bahamas Cruise, Sept. 2009

Chapter 73

Aquatic Adventure Tour, Nassau

Chapter 74

12 Days Classic Eastern Mediterranean Cruise, Nov. 2⁶Th, 2009 A. Athens, Greece

Chapter 75

B. Izmir, Ephesus Turkey

Chapter 76

C. Alexandria And Cairo, Egypt

Chapter 77

D. Valetta, Malta

Chapter 78

13 Days Cruise To The Holy Land, Oct. 2010 A. Naples And Messina, Italy

Chapter 79

B. Corfu, Greece

Chapter 80

C. Jerusalem, Israel

Chapter 81

D. Nazareth And Galilee

Chapter 82

F Caesarea, The Ancient Roman Capitol

Chapter 83

9 Days Cruise To The Baltic Capitals (Scandinavia) May 2011 A. Copenhagen, Denmark And Warnemunde, Germany

Chapter 84

B. Estonia

Chapter 85

C. St. Petersburg, Russia

Chapter 86

D. Helsinki, Finland

Chapter 87

E. Nynashamn, Stockholm, Sweden

Chapter 88

Back From Panama Cruise, Grandchildren’s Letter

Chapter 89

15 Days Cruise To Panama Canal May 1-15, 2012

Chapter 90

A. Cartagena, Colombia

Chapter 91

B. Transit Panama Canal

Chapter 92

C. Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Chapter 93

D. Puerto Chiapas, Mexico

Chapter 94

E. Huatulco, Mexico

Chapter 95

F. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Chapter 96

G. Cabo San Lucas

Chapter 97

Prior To Northern Europe Cruise

Chapter 98

14 Days Cruise To The British Isles

London, England

Chapter 99

B. Southampton, To Falmouth, Cornwall, England

Chapter 100

C. En Route To Dublin, Ireland

Chapter 101

D. Greenock, Glasgow, Scotland

Chapter 102

E. Reykjavik, Iceland

Chapter 103

F. Qaqortoq, Greenland

Chapter 104

G. St. John’s, Newfoundland

Chapter 105

Grandchildren’s Letter

Chapter 106

The Concluding Part Grandma’s Reply To Her Granddaughters’ Letter

DEDICATION

To my whole family, including my grandchildren, my children and their spouses, nephews and nieces on either side, my other relatives, near or far, and

To all who love to travel and visit places.

Go and see the world!

ACKNOWLEDGMENT

My sincere thanks to my colleagues at MCC "Writers

Group" for their objective views and comments.

Special acknowledgment to my daughter Paz Cielo and to my son in-law, Ariel, who are always there whenever I need their help.

Introduction

O n a late afternoon in June, Grandma is coming into the house from her garden, when she hears the telephone ringing. It is her son, Clyde, calling from his home in Naperville, Illinois, U.S.A.

Hello, son? Mom, this is my third call. I thought you went away somewhere. He sounds relieved that his mother is home after all.

I was out watering my flowers in front of the house and my vegetables in the backyard. I’ve been out for almost an hour. What’s up, son? Clyde does not normally call her. Instead he sends her e-mail messages every once in a while. This must be an urgent message then, she presumes with anticipation.

Stephanie and Alexandra will not be able to spend their summer with us this year because their other grandma, Kahoko, is coming to Miami from Brazil. She will remain with them throughout the summer. She had not seen her grandchildren in five years.

Oh, I see, Grandma answers slowly after a brief pause. That means I have to alter my plans for them this summer, she adds, sounding disappointed. I wonder if Gabriella will come here without her cousins?

That is something you have to discuss with my brother Glynn, the son replies, then adds, I have to go, Mom. I am picking up Olivia from the Day Care Center now. I have to hurry because Brian’s sitter, Olga is leaving before seven.

Alright, son, give my kisses to Olivia and Brian. My regards to Angela.

That evening, grandma ponders on the turn of events sadly. Her grandchildren’s visits every summer had always been very happy occasions for her. It is hard to visualize a summer without them, hear their laughter, which would fill her otherwise lonely home with life. Waiting for the summer to come had been a preoccupation coupled with impatience and anxiety. The days of anticipation seemed to drag on slow feet.

They would romp around the neighborhood with her two dogs, Tinsel and Buddy, sit outside on the veranda or in the backyard eating grilled corn on the cob or ice cream.

They would urge her to drive around Del Webb, Sun City, or spend the afternoon at the Prairie Lodge swimming pool. Shopping at the malls on Randall Road, at the Prime Outlet Mall on Rte. 47, and eating at the Food Court, had always been treats for the children. Helping her with home chores always delighted her.

What is she going to do without them this summer? And what about the stories she promised to tell them? She has interesting stories about her numerous trips and cruises. After hearing the stories about her childhood experiences last summer, they were very enthusiastic to hear stories about her travels around the country and abroad.

Grandma feels forlorn. The promise of a fun-filled summer with her beloved grandchildren, Stephanie, Alexandra and Gabriella suddenly becomes obscure, like sunshine blanketed by passing dark clouds. Wiping her tears of frustration, grandma resolves to write to her grandchildren. To her, writing is comforting, a satisfying way of easing her disappointment and loneliness.

Chapter 1

Grandma’s First letter to Her Grandchildren

June 12, 2011

My dearest Stephanie and Alexandra,

Y our daddy told me that you are not coming this summer because your Grandma Kahoko is spending the summer with you in Miami. When is she arriving from Brazil?

I am greatly saddened, so are your auntie Bing and uncle Ariel. On the other hand, it is good that you will see your Nana Kahoko again after six years. She had taken good care of you both when you were little. Naturally, she will be happy to see you and your mom Mari again after so long. I wish you all a happy summer together.

In her e-mail, your cousin Gabriella said she has been awarded scholarship to a school in London. I am so glad to hear it although I am sad that she too cannot be here this summer. She is going there with her mom and dad next month to see the place where she will stay for one year, starting this fall semester.

Your cousin has been consistently getting excellent grades in her school, which earned her entry into a school for the gifted in London. Our family should be proud of her high academic achievements. I am sure you two are also working very hard to maintain your good grades. I am very proud of you all!

This is a very lonely summer for me. I had been used to having you here every summer. Tinsel and Buddy seem to be missing your company too. They often run to the door whenever I open it, possibly expecting to see you. Both are bigger now, of course. How is your cute dog, Jasmine?

I plan to visit my home country, the Philippines this coming November, via Tokyo, Japan. I intend to stay in that city for four days to see its famed tourist attractions, then proceed to Manila where I will remain for two days only. My final destination is my old hometown, Lopez Jaena, Misamis Occidental, south of the country, where I will stay for one week to attend the Town Fiesta and High School Reunion. I am very excited to see my old classmates again after so many years. I have not seen them since in 1955, during our High School Graduation. Hope they are still around.

Remember my hometown where I spent my childhood, where those interesting stories I told you took place? I am going to visit all those spots where I used to roam: the farm and its surrounding areas, the river and the rice field, the spring on the crest of the hill, the coconut groves (if they are still there), and the very spot where our farmhouse once stood. The fruit trees, which once surrounded our house would surely be gone by then. I expect the place would be very different now. It’s been about fifty years since I left.

It will not be possible for me to visit those areas outside my town, like the garrison in Kolambugan, Misamis Oriental, where my uncles were imprisoned after World War II, and the other places, which featured in my storytelling last summer.

It is even more doubtful that I can go down to the sea to gather seashells, as my older sisters and I used to do during those past glorious days of my childhood. Neither could I climb the guava trees, the jackfruit, guyabano, avocado and coconut trees, or walk through the rice paddies on my bare feet, now that I am old.

I shall just be content in imagining where everything was, and in thinking of the numerous things we used to do during those precious childhood days. It makes me feel very sad to recall those days long gone by, much more so now that my parents, my sisters and my only brother have all passed on.

In my next letter, I am going to start relating stories about my travels, as I promised. Since I shall be telling my stories in writing instead of verbally, you will not be able to interrupt and ask questions. Any questions you might want to ask, ask them in your answer, either by e-mail, by phone, or by writing back to me. Please have your dictionary handy for words that maybe difficult for you to understand. I shall try to use only simple words whenever I can.

My narratives will be classified into two categories: Travels within the Continental U.S.A. and Travels Abroad. I will start with my travel to Nigeria because although the country is located outside the United States, my travel and stay in that country in Africa, paved the way to all my subsequent trips. Happy reading, my dear ones!

Your lonely Grandma L.

Chapter 2

En Route to Nigeria, West Africa, 1975

June 15th

Dearest grandchildren,

I received your brief e-mail stating that your grandma Kahoko arrived yesterday from Rio de Janiero, Brazil, and will remain with you until Christmas. I shall call her sometime this week. Hope your grandpa can come to visit you also.

Following are stories of my travel experiences as I promised to narrate to you. It is going to be like an armchair travelogue while I take you from one state to another in the U.S., and from one country to another outside the country. Relax and enjoy the ride by car, bus, train, plane, or by ship.

My starting point is Nigeria, located in West Africa. I should like you to get hold of a map of Africa, called the Dark Continent, and locate Nigeria in the map. This country was one of the well-populated nations in Africa, and the most stable at that point in time. Today, it may still be what it was, although there could be a lot of changes in the political, cultural, educational and economic standpoint since I was there last in 1984.

My travel to that country opposite the globe was generated by sentimental as well as financial reasons. Both reasons are contained in my first book, Where Miracles Grow. You will have a copy of that book when it is ready. You have to read it.

I was among the group of contract workers consisting of experienced teachers from different cities and provinces in the Philippines. The recruitment process was very rigid, but I passed the thorough examinations and made it to the first batch of teachers to leave the country in 1975. I had been a teacher in the Philippines for thirteen years before I resigned my position and joined the contract workers bound for the country we hardly knew anything about then. The general motivation was to leave the country for better opportunities abroad, notwithstanding the great distance from our families and the daunting, unknown prospects awaiting us in that faraway country.

En route to our destination, we had a chance to see Hongkong, China where we had a stopover of four and a half hours. We proceeded to Paris, France, where we had a layover of 24 hours, enough time to tour this world famous tourist destination. We stayed at a two star hotel in downtown Paris, an attractive structure surrounded with tulips in their full bloom of riotous colors. The excellent accommodations on the second floor where all fifty of us were assigned gave us a feeling of importance.

As one would expect, we toured the beautiful city in groups of five or four, changing some of our pocket money in U.S. dollars into francs. The hotel receptionist called a cab for me and for my four companions. The gorgeous driver spoke only in French. She was tall and beautiful with shoulder length corn blond hair. She could have been an actress for all that we knew. She resembled Sophia Loren, the well-known French actress.

We toured the city, stopping at the Champ de Elysses, Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre, the romantic river Seine, and other tourist sites. Our beautiful driver obliged to take our pictures solo or in groups. We browsed at the bookstores, boutiques and small shops, buying souvenir items we could afford with our meager francs. At the end of the day, we reluctantly returned to our hotel in time for a heavy dinner served with French wine. It was a grand feeling to sip French wine served by elegant French waiters in a French hotel within the most vibrant city in France.

We sampled more French wine at the hotel bar where the music and entertainment kept us merry until late in the night. The days ahead and the uncertainty of our final destination were entirely forgotten in the magic of our first and last night in this enchanting city, famous for artists, writers, poets and actresses, colorful ancient history etc. which make this place one of the renowned cities in the world.

Nigeria, West Africa

On board a Nigeria Airways plane, we arrived in the port city of Lagos on a sunny and warm morning after an overnight flight from Paris. After a week stay in Lagos for briefings and orientation, we were deployed to different states in the Federation.

The literacy level in the country then, was as low as 26 %. The need for teachers was acute in many regions. They urgently needed teachers to bolster their new educational venture called the U.P.E Scheme (Universal Primary Education Scheme). I was assigned at Waka Teachers’ College for a year, then was transferred to the southwest, at Federal Advanced Teachers’ College in Abeokuta, Ogun State. Federal Advanced Teachers’ College became Federal College of Education later on and relocated to a better site, a few kilometers from the heart of the city. I was promoted to Senior Education Officer, then subsequently to Principal Education Officer. I remained in the college as the Head of the Home Economics Department until the end of my contract in 1984.

I was a recipient of a prestigious award, the Square Bracket Award for my outstanding service in the college. I received an award again as one of the outstanding contract workers abroad, the Bagong Bayani Award (New Heroes Award) in 1985, when I went home to Manila. I received this award from the then, President Ferdinand Marcos and his wife Imelda, in a ceremony held at Malacanang Palace, Manila, along with seven other outstanding contract workers abroad in various professional fields.

During the nine years in my stations from the north to the southwest of Nigeria, I had several opportunities to see the whole country from central, north, east, west and south of the country, including the big cities and states of Lagos, Ibadan, Maiduguri, Port Harcourt, Kano, Kaduna, Oyo, Ogun, Ondo, Kwara, Imo and Sokoto, while attending workshops and giving presentations and speeches at educational forums. In addition to my teaching and teaching practice supervisions, I was called upon to do other official functions related to my work. The duties I performed were very satisfying and fulfilling.

My detailed experiences in Nigeria are featured in my first book. Again, look it up in the copy I will send you later on. Of all my travels, my experiences in that distant West African nation had shaped my personal as well as my professional life to a great extent. The memories of my life there will be cherished as the years come and go.

My dearest ones, I hope I did not bore you with this lengthy narrative. Actually, I had not touched many features of this southwestern African country, in the social, cultural and political context. I will leave it to you to learn more of the country, where I spent a great number of years with your auntie Bing, your dad and your uncle Glynn.

Wait for my next letter in three days time.

Love you much! Grandma L.

Chapter 3

Singapore, Malaysia

"Grandma, what a story! an e-mail from Stephanie. We felt like we were with you in Paris, going around the city in a cab with a beautiful driver. Our mom said she saw a movie starring Sophia Loren. We are particularly impressed with the awards you received. We should be proud of you, mom said. Your experiences in Nigeria interested us so much we will read your book as soon as it comes. Where are we going next? Your granddaughters: Stephanie Alexandra and Gabriella

June 18th

Girls, I am happy that you have shown much enthusiasm to know about my travel experiences. My next story is, like Nigeria, about countries outside the U.S., Singapore and Colombo. After discussing about these two countries, I will stick to the classification I have formerly proposed: Travels Within the Country and Abroad."

I left Bing, Clyde and Glynn with their grandmother in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, southwest of the Philippines for about five years while I established myself in my place of work and saved enough for their fares. The time came when I could no longer bear being separated from my beloved children. I applied for their passage to Africa in the summer of 1980.

To get approval for their visas, I was required to get permission from their father. We had lost contact with Captain Joel, their father and my husband of seven years, because he left his family for another woman in Singapore, his home port. My sister in-law contacted him and obtained his permission without any problems.

He arranged for us to visit him in Singapore but I had to leave my children with their aunt in Ludwigsburg, West Germany. She wanted to show them the castles, the Black Forest, interesting places full of myth and legends, take them to rides and playgrounds, and other places children of their age were anxious to go and see.

I went to Singapore alone before I proceeded to Manila to have tonsillectomy done. In Singapore, the captain acted the most generous host, taking me to the most interesting tourist attractions, to the shopping malls, parks and recreation areas. He showed me the city in its entirety by night and by day, leaving me quite dazzled and very impressed by his unexpected attentions. He took me to the best restaurants that served the most delicious Chinese and Malaysian dishes. We stayed at a three star hotel in the city.

His best friend Richard, the owner of a jewelry and electronics shop, took us to one of the specialty restaurants along Orchard St. one evening. At the entrance to the restaurant, there was a large aquarium that contained crabs, lobsters and all sorts of fish. I thought the aquarium full of live sea animals was just a decoration. When my husband asked me which one of the swimming sea animals I wanted for my dinner, I could not speak for a while. That was my first time to be confronted with such a situation.

Hesitantly and slightly embarrassed, I pointed to a red snapper who was looking at me with his large clear eyes, as if begging to be spared. Joel chose a large lobster and his friend Richard, a smaller lobster and a crab.

We were served our most delicious meal in less than an hour wait. Later, when we were alone in our hotel room, my husband joked at my discomfiture at the restaurant. How did you like your red snapper? he asked smiling. Super delicious, although I can still picture the snapper’s appealing look, I replied quite honestly.

Joel took me to his ship anchored a mile from the port of Singapore. His crew consisted of Malaysians, Indonesians, a couple of Greeks and a few Filipinos. They greeted me politely. They greeted the master of the ship with evident respect.

At the mall, he bought me a long dress of batik material, identical to the Singapore Airline stewardess’ attire. It fit my slender frame perfectly. My husband admired my figure and openly commented how pretty I looked in the dress he picked.

He bought clothes for our daughter and for me, and watches and toys for the boys. He had me fitted for a pair of new eyeglasses to replace the old one that had a broken frame. He presented me with two gold necklaces, one for me and one for my daughter, and more gems, adding to my small collection of jade and diamond jewelry he had given me years ago. He seemed bent on making up for what he had failed to do during the years we were separated. It was the old love rekindled for both of us. Sounds romantic?

He promised to go to Nigeria to be with us in a year’s time when his contract ended.

Girls, I thoroughly enjoyed Singapore, much more so because I was reunited with my beloved husband, who had left me and his children for a good number of years. I could not bring myself to question him about the other woman, much as I wanted to. I guess it was because I did not want to spoil the magic of being with him again after a long separation. During that whole week with him, I felt transported back in time when we were younger and so much in love with each other.

Singapore is the capital of Malaysia. The city was then under the British. Now, it is back to the Chinese. It was a bustling, progressive, clean and orderly city, a haven for tourists during that time. I do not know how the city is now. That was over a century ago, but my happy memories of the place with my captain husband linger on.

Your grandma with a sad past, L.

P.S. Attached is a story about my trip to Colombo, Sri Lanka.

One evening, Grandma is eating dinner when the phone rings. Grandma, we felt like reading a love story about your stay in Singapore with our grandpa Joel. It was sad that he left you and his children for a long time. We are glad you were reconciled after many years apart. Stephanie sounds like an adult. Yes, my darling, those years of separation were the most painful years of my life. My next story is yet another blow, not only painful but devastating.

Chapter 4

Colombo, Sri Lanka

C aptain Joel went to Nigeria in 1983 and remained with us for

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