- Posted December 24, 2013 by
Tanzania africa, Tanzania
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Confessions from imperfect parents
Coming Face to Face with a new son on FaceBook.
New baby,money problems, away from home.xmas blues,
I moved to the Philippines Single and childless. I was ready to start my new life and adventure. The first girl I met gave me the Filipino quiz. You married? You have kids? You want get married have kids? No No and No was my answer.
Subsequently about one month after I got there the first girl I was intimate with said she was pregnant and did not want to have the baby. Very rare in this Catholic country to end a pregnancy intentionally, but I went along with her decision to take care of it as she desired. Not to reluctantly I might add, I was not ready to be a father. We parted ways after that. Some 14 months later she posted a picture on Facebook of her new infant son that look uncannily familiar. She had not taken care of it in the way we had agreed. I tenuously comment on here Facebook timeline how cute he was. Even though I was frightened to hear her response. I already knew deep down what the inevitable answer was going to be. I had done the math and even with my public schooling I could add up this could definitely be my son. She responded coyly with “Yes he cute he father is foreigner” and I fired back “and your point” and got a swift “Got to go good day” and never heard back from her for about 6 months. Later I saw more of his pictures on Face Book that looked more like yours truly than even I could admit. I inquired more on her page if we need to talk. I don’t remember the actual words shared in the thread of those hazy posts but she confirmed what I thought. He was my son and agreed to meet that week after much cajoling on my part.
I met my son for the first time on a bright and sunny spring day in Angeles city.
I pulled up in my Jeep and there he was just as beautiful as a child could be. I was beaming with fatherly pride at something I really had little to do with other than a few awkward moments in my hotel. Nonetheless I was so happy to see them both. I couldn’t take my eyes of him the whole way home and he couldn’t take his tiny hand of the stick shift of the jeep. His little hand and mine fought for control of the shifter as I switched gears. I was already in love before we got home. He and I were uncomfortable with all the attention he got at my apartment complex. Everyone wanted to see just what I had brought home for Easter Sunday.
He cried till he passed out and I just sat there staring at him in amazement as he slept. This same scenario went on for the next four weekends him crying sleeping and me staring in amazement, before I was to come to Africa for a 2-maybe 3-week business trip. They came over to see me off and I videoed his first step and stumble. I watch it over and over now and laugh right along with myself on the audio of the VDO. That was the last time I saw them both in my apt in Angeles city on a Sunny spring day.
Cut to Africa, 3 weeks became 5 weeks and 5 weeks has become 5 months. I see how big he is getting on Facebook and wish I could go home everyday. But this business trip has gone from rape pillage and plunders the natural resources of this country for our own personal wealth and benefit trip, to a survival of the fittest. I am here fighting to stay financially a float and still send some money home. I have been able to do that every month up till now NOV 20, 2013. I have yet to find any money to send home this month.
I turned to what I knew best here to make some money, Branded Entertainment Comedy and promotions. I did my first comedy show in Tanzania. It went viral and helped to get some heat on me and gigs to solidify my rep as the funniest Mazunga (white man) in Tanzania. So with that I created some jobs for myself promoting a beach club and coming up with a TV game show that I am shooting a pilot for. All these things just to make some money to send home. Hopefully I will get back home before my son grows up on Facebook with out me. I always hear that some people’s biggest regrets are that they didn’t spend enough time with there family. Well I am an only child and up until I was 30 when both my parents passed away. I always spent every holiday season with them. I use to say how many X-mas do really have in life. You only get one Holiday season a year. Unless your Filipino than you get four months Christmas Season from starting in Sept – Dec a year. So my half Filipino son and I got that going for us.
I know I will probably miss the X-mas with my son this year. I hope this is the last time that ever happens. I didn’t really know about him till he was 10 months old and now he is now 18 months old. I don’t know when I will see him again. I must make some money here so I can go back and support him and his mother or bring them to me wherever I end up earning a living. I feel terrible not being there and I try to justify it in my mind that I have to make money for his present and future care. I hope it doesn’t turn into an unending process where I never get home to see him. I cry sometimes and I know he does to but hopefully he doesn’t know why I’m crying or understand yet, how hard and painful it is to be away from him and watch him grow up on Facebook. I pray I don’t have to wait till he gets his own Facebook page before we are together again.
- My life