Posted by: larry13767 | January 11, 2010

The More Simple Life

As opposed to the  stupid  tv show life of a couple of extremely privileged vapid bimbos during menial chores embarrassing those participating and those watching.

Life in the rural areas of the Philippines starts like all rural areas.  Up before dawn to care for animals as most families seem to have a few pigs and chicken.  I was staying at 3 of my wife’s various brothers and sisters.  One sister is a university professor teaching IT and cultural dance at the local state university (husband long since retired).  Her other brother is recently retired as the manager of agricultural systems and irrigation throughout the Cagayan Valley.  His wife is clinical manager of the local clinic and a nurse practitioner.  The last brother was an engineer in the big city before he decided to chuck it and move back to be a farmer.  His life is simpler and his kids have a nicer environment to grow up in.  Isn’t that what it is all about if you can deal with it and live well enough.

Each of them owns some animals and some rice fields and they hire locals farmers to manage the day to day running of it.  Owning land and having self sufficiency is fairly important.  Especially when the government is unable to pay the salaries of its employees on a semi regular basis.  Eventually they catch up to what they owe you, except that doe snot help when you need money for you kids.  Having a source of food you can control and a way to make money is important.

So up before dawn to take care of the animals and then as the sun comes up at 5:30 am, you do you usual cleanup and breakfast.  The light here in the pre dawn is amazing.  I am not sure how to describe it except it is pleasant. Lame description I know but one of those things you have to experience to understand.  Here in the morning when you take a shower, it is a bucket of whatever temperature water comes out of the tap and a ladle.  More effective than a double expresso.  You get used to it after a day or so.  It really isn’t that cold.

One thing that I was very surprised at initially many years ago was that teenagers would get up early in the morning to clean the house and environs before they went to school.  Parents drop their kids at school early and then off to work.   Some parents are off to work earlier than their kids and the kids are taken care off by another relative until they go to school.  Everyone pitches in and the kids are more a communal care and no one complains.  Children are cared for deeply and it shows.  The kids are happy, respectful and well behaved.  A bit naive perhaps but generally really nice.  One thing that they all do is ask for a bless which entails them taking your hand and placing the back of it to their forehead.  It is a way of their paying respect to you.   The first time I had teenagers paying me respect my mouth dropped. haha

Most people work throughout the day.  It does not seem very hard but they are on a gentler schedule than you or I face (except for a federal/state  government employee, but can what they do be called work?).

At the end of the day, families are back together, kids do homework and then off to see their friends.  They have cell phones just like other teenagers but no one uses them to make voice calls, just text messages as the cost of a voice call is so expensive.

The sun starts to go down by 530 and it is pitch black by 630 pm.  Pretty much everyone is in bed by 9pm.

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