Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Surviboys

I am not a planner. That's already established, and ya'll probably have figured that out already. So the other day, I decided to take 2 boys from the 18 of the street kids to my farm in the island, with the thought that they'd come back with me after 5 days. Well, it evolved into something like, well,  my farm house is now Vagabond's half-way house.

I gave my caretaker specific instructions on what to do and what not to do regarding the boys while I am gone. I teach the boys basic skills and how to be normal, civilized people and prepare them to get out of the street.....that it is possible. That's the extent of my plan.
I give them a fraction of what I would normally pay a worker so they can have money when they are ready to leave.
I bought them chickens and I let them give each chicken a name. Having the chickens will teach them what it is like to have someone depending on them.
It is fun observing what gifts and skills God gave these boys. JJ the one in yellow, is very quiet and very detailed and likes to clean up and sweep the grounds. Kevin, loves bossing JJ around when he can get away with it. He is the animal lover of the two.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Sometimes dull is cool

I am sitting here fretting over the lunch date I am about to go to with my bipolar friend. I admit, it's never a dull moment around a bipolar person, but sometimes I just want the moment to be dull.

She and I have the same birthday, but we didn't celebrate it on that day or even that week, which was 2 weeks ago. She went to Manila and holed up in a 5 star hotel for 4 days. "I will eat 5 scoops of ice cream every day and then have room service every morning. And when I get back you and I are going to have lunch." She warned me before she left. I was hoping she had forgotten about our lunch date, but the other day she came to collect on that promise (of hers) so today is the day I will be fed.... to the bear. She asked me where I want to go and what I wanted to eat. I told her. I don't know why I wasted my brain energy picking a restaurant, when she already made up her mind what "we" are going to eat and where.   Whiskey. Weeds. Whatever. Help me.

But hey, it could be worse. At least I have another aspect of my life that's keeping me sane right now. Like? My Chat.

Monday, July 16, 2012

It's a loss, it's a blessing

My capacity to retain information has significantly diminished. And I have to say this with all honesty and resigned acceptance, that it's not all that bad. When I first had the sign of unusual forgetfulness, like, when I could not remember names as fast as I wanted to, I'd get so mad and frustrated--at myself. Then I started blaming internal and external causes; my hormones are out of whack because of all these preservatives in the food I eat. Or it could be old age, but I didn't cause this.

Well, I'm  done blaming. I'm done denying. I'm done resenting.  I have accepted that trying to remember names is the least of my worries. I justify it: we must not have a close relationship or I'd remember your name. I have accepted that I could hardly even remember what I ate an hour ago, so why even try to squeeze my brain and force it to remember anything else? What I do remember constantly is that my memory is not what it used to be. But a blessing comes with that loss. See, now, when I have something to be angry or sad about, I don't linger in that state for long, because once I've taken on another subject or have fallen asleep, my brain has to be told like what you tell a computer if you want to find out what sites your husband has visited; you scroll through the history. Then I decide accordingly---oh, I was sad, should I go on being sad? aaah, it's ok, nothing to worry about. Delete. Delete bad history.

Ok, let's see if I have pictures for this post. Ahah, what I had for my dinner last night. I think this is what I had.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Old age is getting costly

It's only been a week after I turned 55, and already I can tell I have lost my capacity to be rational. My caretaker asked me yesterday if he can go ahead and buy more chickens to replace the ones that died from the plague, and I started to get emotional. "No more animals. I don't want pigs, goats or chickens ever in my life. Too much emotional cost." I think I heard him say something like, but you eat them.

And then last night, I feel deep sadness and emptiness when Santino (this street kid I have sheltered) left to go back home to his mother and 8 other siblings because his mother forced him to. It's been my dream for these street kids to go back home and be reunited with their families---but only if their family functions like what it should be. Santino's mother is on her 5th live-in partner and pregnant with her 10th child. Which reminds me how the "octomom" kept her intestines from coming out with the baby when I, during my first and only one delivery thought that my guts came out with all that jelly fish looking placenta.

 A friend tells me the reason I am more emotional is because I am getting old. "What do you mean "getting"? I've been old."  Another friend tells me, "Acceptance is the key." Of course I know that too. I'm brilliant enough to know that when my dreams became dry and when I laugh, a tear runs down my leg, I, is no spring chicken.  But don't drink the cool-aid yet, I'm not ready to  move in with them folks in some home playing with their teeth on their lap. Cheers!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

My little island

Unless you come visit me in my hut in the island of Camotes, I can't really show you, either on video or pictures the whole of what I see in this island. The island of Camotes is very small, comprising of 3 major towns; San Francisco, Poro and Pilar. My place is in the town of Poro. Nothing here to brag about except the lush, rolling hills circled by white sandy beaches, or rock cliff facing the ocean. There are no big buildings higher than 2 story except for this one and only hotel, tucked in the mountain. When I went, I was riding on the only mode of transportation here---the motorcycle. I was looking for a place to stay while I was building my hut and someone mentioned "little island". After winding up and down in the middle of nowhere, I started telling the motorcycle driver to just take me back to town. "I'll use my tent to sleep in tonite" because I didn't think we'd get to anything descent. I was mistaken. Here, take a look.

Character and Circumstance

God will not sacrifice our character in order to improve our circumstance. Translation: God is not about to give me this rock cliff waterfront dream property of mine if it means that I will only recluse myself and forget my street kids in the city. (And or forego the spa and Starbucks visit.)

Chat and I are not planners, at least not in the long term. "We plan just far ahead enough to get us excited"--that's how Chat said it.
I know that in less than 2 months I will be back in the US dealing with my apartment lease and the stuff I have to let go; sell or give away. It is a cause of sadness for me because I am already missing the life  I am about to leave. All that I have going on here in the island was not planned by me; everything just happened as it comes. And God being all-knowing and infinitely wise, provided me a perfect diversion in the form of land and trees, so I would finally let go of my life in Dallas.

And I promised God I won't change, ever, if He gives me this.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

50 shades of Crazy

It's my life story; I am always going through a cycle, a phase, a season--I don't know what you'd call it but I call it my 50 shades of crazy. I am melancholic. I am restless. I am me.

I just turned 55 and I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up, but I can tell you that I like this cycle, phase or season of my life. I'm a farmer. For now.

Actually, these are grown by my caretaker. I told him to plant anything--anything edible. The 2nd picture is fresh turmeric. And of course, the squash, the vine is loaded with them now.
Here are "chicos" I bought as a birthday gift for myself. They're my favorite fruit next to persimmons. I bought them grafted because I don't want to wait 5 years for them to produce fruit. If you look closely it's already loaded with fruits.
I spent all day yesterday observing for the first time how "copra" the dried meat of the coconut is produced. I had an idea this is hard work, but I didn't know how hard. Now, I have more respect for my caretaker, and you see how primitive they're drying the coconut meat? Slow smoke underneath that bamboo contraption.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

I'm 55 ya'll!

It's not everyday that one turns 55--specifically a double digit same number birthday. It happens only every 11 years, so I thought I'd go big on this birthday. I was going for balloons and streamers even, but I decided against it considering that my street kids are so rowdy, they would just prick them or release them. I'll reserve the balloons for when I turn 66, that time I will be sure my nursing home mates will only stare at them.
These 2 guys above are acting as the boys "leader and protector"--translation? They live off of the boys earnings. They go in and out of jail from stealing and beating on people who criticize them, but they know not to mess with me or I'll beat them til their brown meat shows. At least, that's what I threaten them.