Well, to make a long story short, the box of slides from Ate Dijen (that my dad had entrusted to her, his favorite niece, at some point before he passed away) arrived care of Baloo and Irving when they came down from San Francisco over the weekend. I could barely contain my excitement. I thought that I had finally solved the mystery of our missing slides -- the ones that Daddy took of us when we were little, in our apartment in Sucat in the late 70's; the lost ones of Joms as a baby, with his fat rolls and his full head of fluffy hair. I crossed my fingers, even though the box was labeled, in my dad's handwriting, "At Home 1972- 1973- 1974," the right decade, but the wrong years. True enough, none of the slides are of us. But they are of him, his family, the houses in San Dionisio, familiar and strange; more pieces of my dad's life that I thought I knew, but don't know, will never know.
The whole office went to DOST for a field trip. Though this was business, it still felt good to be away and be in a different environment. I've just finished reading the Southern Reach trilogy and I imagined I was in the Southern Reach while touring the DOST grounds. I kept waiting to see incredible things -- and I did, just not in the ways I expected. One major aspect I had to get past was that the grounds looked too much like UP -- lined with trees and derelict. Yet this was a place that housed inventions and machines. I met weavers, food technicians, and electricians -- all kinds of people invested in advancing our technology! I have hope for the DOST because I felt like I missed out on so many interesting opportunities to learn science back in high school and this time I want to get it right.