Friday, October 07, 2005

My Bahay (house)!

Well, it looks like my new hut is looking, well, very much like a hut! It has a frame and partial walls and part of the C.R. (bathroom) completed already, in one week. I am visiting the place almost daily to check on the progress and it looks like the guys are hard at work and doing a good job. Magaling magtrabaho!

The hut will be much bigger than I thought -- pretty spacious as huts go. I hope it won't be too embarrassing to live in the house by myself in neighborhood where whole, large families live in the same sized huts. But I think I will find it comfortable for me and while I have made a lot of sacrifices, it will be comforting to have my own private space.

The walls are made partially of cement and then bamboo. Kuya Jun, my new "host father," says that he is making the bamboo walls in a diamond pattern. Sounds nice. I decided to leave the inside of the house open -- a la New York studio-style, even though I think they thought I was crazy for not wanting walls around my bedroom. The interior will be perhaps a little bigger than my studio in New York and have space for a "bedroom," living area and eat-in kitchen, plus CR. There will be no running water, except if you count the garden hose I will run from Kuya's house to mine. I will tap into his electricity to have lights and outlets. I was a little disturbed to find out that garbage disposal is a pile in a marshy palm area a short distance from the house. But maybe that's a neighborhood project I can work on...Proper disposal of garbage is not a big thing here. They don't understand, really, the long-term effects on the environment by simply throwing garbage in a big pile and letting it float into the nearby riveR. Hmmm. I do have a septic tank. Though not sure how environmentally sound that is either.

Construction should be finished about the last week of October. Yeehaw! Here are some pics I took yesterday to give you an idea of my new bahay....

Kuya Jun, right, is supervising one of the workers who is finishing a cement wall inside my hut.

A worker is cleaning off a strip of bamboo. It's pretty labor intensify. You have to cut the bamboo and then strip it clean of splinters, etc. No machines!

A view of the front entrance of my new hut. About 3 1/2 feet of cement and then bamboo for the rest of the walls.

Another view of the front of the hut. Ate Basing is inside, helping with the construction.

My street! Many streets don't really have names here and even if they did, no one would use them. It's all about barangays (villages)! Which barangay do you live in? This is the view on my street, walking out of my little neighborhood.

Some kids in my neighborhood who followed me down the street the other day. Cute na?

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