Tuesday, December 13, 2005

"Our 2005 Newsletter"

Following a Dias tradition, I have decided to write my first news letter. My Mom had written news letters since 1964 and many members of the Dias family have decided to follow the tradition. Actually, this year I would have followed my single traditions and skipped getting a Christmas tree, or decorating my house but now that I am married and my wife spent a lot of time decorating her house in the Philippines, I had to do more this year. My wife is amazed at how little this country decorates for Christmas.
A lot has happened to me this year. I guess I am playing catch up. First, I got married on Christmas Eve last year in the Philippines and spent the next 6 months going through paperwork to get my wife into this country. I then graduated from Sacramento State University with my BS in Computer Science. I have been working on this degree for some time now. I think I was on the 20 year plan. My wife arrived shortly after I graduated and she has been getting adjusted to me and this country ever since. The day after she arrived from the Philippines, she attended my Mother’s funeral with the rest of the Dias family. My entire family was here except one brother. I then took a job for a computer consulting company as a computer programmer. After I took the job, my wife and I bought a condo in Carmichael California. My wife is now pregnant with our first child and due sometime in May. Oh yea, we bought our first dog named Buddy.
My wife being here has been a great blessing for me. She has been working hard trying to get adjusted. She compares everything in this country to the Philippines and so far this country is loosing. This country doesn’t decorate enough for Christmas, this countries hospitality isn’t as good, this countries food isn’t as good, and we don’t serve rice in every restaurant. Those are just a few of her comparisons. She has already received her work permit, but since she is pregnant, she won’t be working anytime soon. She should be receiving her Green Card very shortly and she will be taking her test to get her Driving Permit next weekend. Her biggest craving is rice. I don’t think that is because she is pregnant either. She did start craving BBQ pork from Panda Express. Is that normal? It was funny how we found out she was pregnant. She started getting dizzy, throwing up, and getting headaches. I had no idea what was the problem so I took her to the Emergency Room and we found out she was pregnant. Since I have never had a child before, I had no idea what the symptoms were for being pregnant. Apparently my 6 sisters should have briefed me.
Another big event in my life this year was the death of my mother and my brother-in-law. My brother-in-law died from pneumonia this year. My mom’s health was getting worse as time went on and we knew she didn’t have that much time left. I regret that my wife wasn’t able to get to know her. My mom was an amazing woman who had 14 children and raised us all with strong values. My mom was an extremely strong Catholic who went to church every day even when she could barely get out of her chair. She was a woman who never compromised her beliefs or morals no matter how liberal this country got. I was also extremely impressed that my Commanding Officer of my Air Force Unit and the Chief of the Command came to my mother’s funeral.
My job has been quite challenging. At first I was nervous because there was so much to learn when I first started. Now, I am in charge of all the Enterprise Architecture for all the in-house projects. When I first started, I had to learn about 4 different computer languages and frameworks. I am currently in the process of trying to get on a project at the Department of Justice. I was the primary developer for the Katrina Relief
Project which is currently being used by the Red Cross for the Katrina Relief disaster. My program was even mentioned on the Channel 10 news in Sacramento. Unfortunately, they didn’t mention my name.
I want to wish everybody a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year.
- Greg
Oh, Newsletter! That sounds new. Obviously this is my first time to write a newsletter. Since Greg also wants to follow the Dias tradition, I would love to do it too.

2005 is a journey of a new beginning for Greg and I. Greg spent his Christmas and New Years day in the Philippines. By the way it’s been almost a year on since we got married in the Philippines. Anyway, I haven't noticed that I’ve been here in America for over 6 months already, what a glimpse!

When I was in the Philippines, it was hard for me to be away from Greg. The only choice we had was to wait until the paper is over. Fortunately the process was finished is just 5 months only. So on June 10th, I flew over to the US and got reunited with Greg. Unfortunately, I have to leave my family in the Philippines. I filed a resignation letter to the Mayor and bid goodbyes to my family, friends and relatives. 

It's hard and sad to leave the memories that I have for 21 years. I'm keeping in touch with my family regularly, but sometimes homesickness never fails to remind of the Philippines. Greg always finds way to keep me busy, and I am also trying and working hard to fight the loneliness.

About my adjustments, wow culture shock! My goodness gracious! Ask me about America, and I will tell you that everything here is different. Totally different from what I've used to. 

Honestly, it was pretty sad when I got here. I got here in the US 2 days prior to Greg’s Mom’s funeral. I actually had the opportunity to met Greg's family and friends.  His family is very welcoming and very kind. They gave us a bridal shower at Gene and Valerie’s house. I loved Greg’s family and they're all nice to me.

I didn't realized they have such a huge family.  Well, pretty soon we are going to add another member in the Dias Clan. 

I met some of Greg’s friends already, the people from the Air Force and some of his office mates.

So far, marriage life is great! Last September 9th, we moved in to our new place in Carmichael. Dad, Dorothy, Gene, Aileen & the rest of the kids and friend Sergio helped us moved, that was very nice them. 

Last September 18th we went to Tahoe to attend my friend’s wedding. I am glad that she finally came over to the US from the PI. I met her at the Embassy during our final interview. Her name is Flor and she was married to Raul and they're both Filipino.

Wait, I am afraid not to mention our dog. His name is BUDDY, he was 4 yrs. old, a chow-chow mix breed.

Lately, it was October 22nd when Greg brought me to ER because I was not feeling good. Well, we didn’t have any idea that I was pregnant. The nurse told us that I was about 8-10 weeks, what a blessing and surprise! I can’t forget how Greg wanted to tell everybody. We are both excited and can’t wait to have our baby soon. I’ve been suffering from morning sickness, and have been craving for Filipino food. Greg has been patient with me all the time because my pregnancy makes me so aggravated.

Opps…my first turkey, what a chicken! We had our Thanksgiving Day at Mark & Jeanine’s house. It was fun and it was my first time celebrating Thanksgiving Day. We don’t have that holiday in the Philippines.  

Christmas is fast approaching so Greg and I thought to send Christmas cards to everybody. Now that I am almost done writing this, I realized how good God has been to us. Last year of 2004 I finished my degree and got a job, Greg flew to the Philippined to meet me before my 22nd birthday, and then we got married on the 24th of December. This year Greg finished his bachelors and got hired right away, we purchased a condo, we got a dog, and last but not the lease, we are having a baby soon! Thank you Jesus for all the blessings!

- Demcy
May you have a wonderful Christmas and a Prosperous New Year!
God Bless You!
With Love,
Greg & Demcy