Busy week and missing my family badly

It has been a really busy week. I checked in Crystal Gateway Marriot Sunday evening for our yearly conference, then came back to DC to my original amazing suite hotel “AKA White House” Wednesday afternoon. My days were filled with meetings… and… more meetings and work. They leave me mentally exhausted by the end of the day. They were all useful meetings with colleagues, to learn about their work, life, issues, projects. I find very interesting because it opens my mind of what’s possible, what others people are struggle with, which put me into perspective of my own issues and challenges. But the most important part, despite being tiring, that I like is the face to face, one to one chatting. It is so different than email communications when you have to second guess what they mean, how close the person is to you, how much they trust/distrust you, and same wise you transmit all these information to the other person. The fact that a coffee chat doesn’t come with a topic to discuss per se, it opens up more discussion. I enjoy that a lot.

What I’ve been eating

Breakfasts: hotel breakfast has limited vegan options. One day I had oatmeal with granola and fruits
French toasts with fruits
Whole wheat English muffin with avocado and banana

Lunches:

last weekend I met with friends and had brunch at True Kitchen. I started with kale aid

Entrée: seasonal warm salad with added grilled tofu
and we shared roasted cauliflower
Asian stir fry with jasmine rice at conference lunch buffet
More salads were consumed
Dinners

Whole food salad bar

one evening I met with friends for dinner at Queen Amannisa that served authentic uyghur food, my first time. We shared a couple of dishes

asian stir fryblack fungus salad
spicy tofu which I finished all by myselfmy friends shared a typical dish: lamb with homamade nan

finally we shared assorted uyghur desserts that are very similar to middle east desserts, a concoction made with honey and nuts
Trader joe’s cauliflower stir fry with soy sauce… yum yum
with added grilled asparagus
kabocha every night ūüôā
When I had to work, I go to business center of my hotel so I don’t get distracted. The big apple screen was a plus!
Almost every evening, after I’m done with meetings or work, I go out for a walk to unwind. DC is beautiful. As I walk around, I had a strange feeling. DC used to be my home but it doesn’t feel like it anymore. Where is family? Buenos Aires? Shanghai? DC? Manila? Somehow they don’t feel home unless my family is there. Home is very family is.
I miss these girls sooo much, to the degree that I feel that they’re growing without me so fast. I know grandma takes good care of them but I know they need their mom as much as I need them.

A friend of mine almost decided to go to do a master thousands miles away from her family. I strongly told her that’s a bad idea because I know her and I know she won’t survive that. I wouldn’t. I need to hug them and kiss them every day!

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Day 7-9: intensive human interactions

I’m officially over with jetlag, that’s why I’ve been waking up at decent time (6:30am) and didn’t have time to blog for the past three days, which was packed with meetings from 9-6pm everyday with different people. I felt that I’ve talked and interacted with more people that I had for the last 6 months! crazy…

Day 7 started wit 4.5 miles run on the treadmill as I wanted to see if allergy gets better without medication¬†with less exposure. Well… sure it did. I didn’t have to take medicine that day and I was fine. After a quick shower, I had the toasts combo that I am loving. It is interesting how preferences adapt quickly. The first two days of not eating oatmeal I found myself missing it a lot and not enjoying these, but few days later… every morning I look forward to my toasts.

meetings and lunch meeting which a large salad (arugula orange salad, tomato corn salad, beets, roasted mushrooms and lentils.

more meetings and run to our team dinner place. It’s an old house that serves as hotel, museums, event place. It has 60+ hidden doors to be found

after we explored the house for a while, we started our dinner. I got vegan meals that started with a salad

main dish was a multi-layer vegetable tower, crispy potato and roasted cauliflower and broccoli, quite tasty.

the¬†best¬†part¬†of¬†the¬†dinner¬†was¬†chatting¬†with¬†my¬†manager¬†as¬†I¬†was¬†sitting¬†next¬†to¬†him.¬†It¬†was¬†quite¬†insightful¬†to¬†hear¬†his¬†views¬†on¬†certain¬†things.¬†And¬†having¬†the¬†chance¬†to¬†chat¬†with¬†him¬†was¬†nice¬†as¬†I¬†don’t¬†usually¬†see¬†him.

Then we had¬†dessert¬†table, too many to choose from, I had copious¬†plates of chocolate truffles cake… so rich but so good.

Day 8: I woke at 6:30am for the first time since arrival. It felt so good. After working out at the gym, I was still not hungry so I had just one toast with avocado

fruits during conference

then I had salad for lunch. After my last meeting I met with my friend Susan to do some groceries shopping to take back to Philippines.

I received the yearly book for 2017 that I made…. so nice to review our year of adventures

then Susan came for a sleepover, I made some pumpkin for late snack as I had some food during happy hour

   she order Chinese takeout

we chat until late night…. it was nice

Day 9: we both woke up around 6:30. She found out her husband had to run to the ER in the middle of the night. We workout in the hotel as it was raining. Then we both went to work. I had another day full of meetings. By te end of the day, I was really exhausted from too much human interactions. I spent Friday evening doing some shopping and stayed in face timing with my lovely girls.

The last couple of days I met with so many colleagues and friends that made me have mixed feelings about things. For instance, seeing old friends made me miss my life in DC. Morning coffees with friends in the office is a luxury and that I miss a lot. Then meeting with colleagues and hearing about assorted changes at work is quite depressing. Although Iknow any institution with many people things are always complicated, still knowing the details is not always pleasant. In that sense, I like life in Manila as I get insulated from all these irrelevant but annoying gossips.

It has been more than a week away from my family… and each day at the end of day when i get into the hotel, I’m relieved to be alone finally but at the same time start to miss them so badly. Still one more week to go, hopefully I can get through this.

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Day 6: meeting meeting meeting

Today was a busy day filled with meetings, work and friends. Sometimes it’s a drag to meet with people that I don’t usually meet or chat, especially people from work, but I always I find something interesting from our conversation afterwards. People are genuinely kind and willing to share and help. We just need to be proactive and reach out. In a world of digital communication, it’s easy to pretend to be connected through emails, but I find face to face the only way to connect. Some chemical reaction happens, unexpected things discussed, an emotional connection established, that through emails will never happen.

To test whether pollen was causing everything, I stayed indoor today and did 45 min elliptical. I didn’t take allergy pill the whole day and I was fine. Theory tested. ūüôā

I quickly showered and had breakfast, avocado toast and hummus toast

then it was day¬†of meetings, 10:30am, 12:30pm,¬†2:30pm, 3:30pm, and 4:30pm.Lunch was a big salad with arugula, beets, roasted mushroom,¬†roasted¬†eggplant, onion and chickpea. Then I had copious cup of coffees to stay awake. By the time I¬†got back to hotel around 6pm, I didn’t want to talk anyway. Chatting for the whole day was tiring and a lot of¬†info¬†to processed. But I¬†had¬†friends over for dinner. I ordered pizza for them and had kabocha. I chatted¬†for a long time and enjoyed ice cream over topics¬†ranging from skincare, pregnancy, kids, travel…. ¬†

they¬†left¬†close¬†to¬†11pm¬†so¬†I¬†went¬†straight¬†to¬†bed¬†and¬†had¬†a¬†great¬†night¬†of¬†sleep.¬†Jet¬†lag¬†is¬†almost¬†over.¬†ūüôā

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