I realized I haven't shared a lot about where I live. I am staying with my host family in a subdivision (yes, they got the idea from Americans) called Vanessa Homes. It is a mix of big homes and little shacks. Fires to burn the garbage (there is no collection service) are a daily occurrence from house to house. We had a brush fire behind my house last weekend - but apparently that's no big deal. I asked if we should call the Fire Department and my family looked at me funny: What Fire Department? Okay, then.
Roosters crow, ducks waddle in and out of Mary's kitchen. Cockroachs dive bomb me while I study and listen to videogames at the same time. I say the word "mainit" a hundred times a day. That means it's hot outside. I sweat and brush away the flies. I try to speak broken Tagalog with my family and the neighbors. The kids greet me on my way home each day. "Hello Tita Julia!" They want to speak English and I speak back in Tagalog.
I live with my host family in this house on Tackawanna Street. My friend Mary lives down the block. We have two dogs, Obit and Geppetto. This is my tatay (host father). This is my nanay (host mother) and a neighbor. This Ate Julie and Jason (host mom and brother) at the pool.
Today at school, a bunch of the summer school kids were helping me study for my Tagalog test (yes, I passed!)
Okay, more later. My teacher is calling me. Ingat kayo.