Reunion in the Middle East

I have a group of friends I hold very close to my heart. Our friendship goes way back to grade school.

It all started when a classmate, I rarely spoke to, wrote me a note tucked inside a Gospel tract asking me “Will you be my best friend?”

How could I say no to the only Pastor’s kid (other than me) in class. Since then, Faith and I became inseparable. Before graduation, a team of 2 grew into a small exclusive group.

Barkada AUH Reunion (2)

The drama and immaturity of highschool sadly waved goodbye to old friends but also welcomed new members. We made every effort to keep our friendship strong and deep.

It wasn’t easy. We learned lessons of betrayal, pride, forgiveness, death, healing and all that life threw at us, the hardest ways possible.

We went to college in different cities and regions but remained in contact with each other. The drama didn’t stop and in our older age we still had fights and misunderstandings.

After college we started working, one after the other, flying off to another country. Despite the distance, we all knew who to run to when life became unbearable.

Fast forward to 2 decades, 3 weddings and 1 pregnancy…

Barkada AUH Reunion (3)

It almost never happened. But after months of wishful thinking, booking tickets, cancellation, rescheduling and rebooking, everything fell into place and everybody was set for a get-together in the UAE.

Who plans a reunion in the Middle East? We did and God made it happen.

Barkada AUH Reunion (4)

Hours before expected arrivals, the Abu Dhabians, were busy giving last-minute instructions, shopping in panic and dutifully washing cars.

5 suitcases in different continents of the world were being packed in progress.Barkada AUH Reunion (5)

Diana and Eden from Manila departed first, rocking Etihad Airways’ Business Class.

Barkada AUH Reunion (6)

BJ from the US and Faith from Canada flew out next.

Barkada AUH Reunion (7)

The last one from Canada did an amazing race – 4 stopovers in 32 hours!

Barkada AUH Reunion (8)

Min never runs out of amusing stories.

The Abu Dhabian couples waiting in great anticipation.

Barkada AUH Reunion (9)

Ivory and Luke and their obsessive-compulsive flight monitoring chart.

Barkada AUH Reunion (10)

A few more hours before I smell my friends again!

A lot of people ask me, what makes our friendship so tough, so different from others?

If it was all on us, we would have called it quits in highschool. The only root that kept us all together was God. He knew that life wouldn’t be easy for all of us and we needed this kind of friendship to keep our heads above stormy waters.

Arrivals The planning | The flights
Day 1 Rest in Abu Dhabi
Day 2 Dubai Museum | Dubai Global City
Day 3 Dubai Atlantis the Palm | Souk Madinat Jumeirah & Burj Al Arab | Dubai Mall & Burj Khalifa | Dubai Dancing Fountain | The Eclipse Boutique Suites
Day 4 Desert Safari – Dune Bashing | Camel Ride | Henna Tattoo | Desert Camp
Day 5 Yas Island & Manarat Al Saadiyat | Grand Mosque | Tiara Restaurant
Departures Packing and flights
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