Life Or Something Like It
Little details, like riding in a Jeepney with 24 other people and several hundred pounds of long silver fish that look like eels, water sloshing out of the buckets. Sitting around chikka-chikka-ing (gossiping) with the soon-to-be neighbors when one (Ate Buehl) volunteers to show me how to weave nipa leaves into pieces that will be used for the roofs of huts. (Many hours of weaving will help her earn just over a dollar for the day). Like meeting the Lopez family...and their eight kids...and realizing after the fact that they live in a hut half the size of mine. Or taking pictures of the workers on my hut with my digital cam and have them ham it up and then get excited to see if they look guwapo (handsome) enough in the instant pics...or stopping work on the hut so that we can mag-meryenda or "take your snacks." Never underestimate the resolve of a Filipino to eat at the appointed snack times! In this case, 3 p.m.
Life here doesn't resemble at all my life back home. But in some ways it is becoming a life all it's own. Soon I will be independent, living in my own hut, in Barangay Dancalan, a community close to the beach. Most of the people there make living by fishing or selling fish. Some, like Ate Buehl, eek out a living by doing small crafts or selling prepared food in makeshift turo-turos. (Turo-turo's are like Filipino fastfood cafeterias where you point -- turo -- at the food you want!)
The hut is coming along. Okay, I promise pictures soon...I expect to move in on Nov. 5. It took a lot longer than they said to build the house but then I should have added a couple of weeks anyway for "Filipino time." Can't wait to settle in and get to know the new neighbors...already, they are curious and come by to stare at the very large hut that is being constructed in my honor. It seems a bit funny now that I will live in a big hut alone when the Lopez family crowds into their small, dilapidated hut down the road...
BOOKS AND BUCKS
Thanks again to all of you who right away have started to contribute to my Book and a Buck Drive. We are getting books and money in the mail. Please tell your friends, your family about the drive. Thank you again for your help!
I'm signing off for now...Ingatz.