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Saturday, November 8, 2008

A First For Everything

Thursday night schools were canceled for the Level 1 storm. I made sure my sliding door leading to the patio was greased and ready to open to get outside quickly, not that I wanted to escape, but I wanted to feel the force of the "Big" storm. It was my first Level 1 Tropical Storm. As I have mentioned before I am a big fan of big rain. I will have to wait patiently again for that first. Nothing more than a few drops.
Thursday afternoon I had invited some friends over for dinner. It was about 10 people. Here's the breakdown of who was here. I was here, I think, my friend Mira, her t
wo nieces Rose who is 10 and Nikki who is 8, her teenage nephew Katrina who is 16, a 8 year old cousin of Mira named Jeff. Then 2 teenage siblings brother and sister Harme 15 and Harmin 16. Harme and Harmin have younger brothers, one that is 2 whose name is Harvin, another
brother that is 4 whose name is Harold. Also three sisters all over 20. Harold and Harvin didn't stay. There mother is 44. A woman named Anna who is one of the 3 sisters over 20.
When the Level 1 storm was declared all my guests asked if they could stay
the night.(All the kids) Sure why not. Let me say that kids didn't leave till late Saturday night. I think that was the plan from the beginning. Nikki and Rose had never been in air conditioning and had never taken a real shower. They were very cute girls. One speaking great English the other not a word. I had brought a few children's books for the kids, and they all loved to read to me.
Friday was a wash out with a steady rain, no where to go and also one person feeling under the weather so we decided to just hang around the house. The kids woke about 5am running around singing "Fruit Salad Yummy Yummy"(The Wiggles) which I had introduced via Itunes last night while gulping down a Philippine favorite Fruit Salad. The kids all thought my singing was funny, so I had to prove it was a real song.
After a 5am wake up I thought by lunch the kids would be climbing the walls. I had seen on the Internet and in the paper an add for Jolibee delivery. Jolibee is the Philippine equivalent of Kentucky Fried Chicken dropped 10 levels. The options are chicken, spaghetti and burgers. We called to find out about delivery; need a minimum delivery of 200 pesos we were told. That is about $4.00 USA. Upon it's delivery and my immediate stomach ache the kids were clapping to me, it seems again it was the first time to have this delicacy for some of them, and the last time for others. They were all happy, and so was I!!Feeling a bit under the weather on Friday night I headed off for an early slumber. The kids were advised to be quite and they were exceptionally well behaved. During the night I did open an eye to the sound of a pretty heavy downpour, but that was it, just an eye and back to dreamland. The next thing I heard was "Fruit Salad Yummy Yummy" coming from outside. It's 6:30am. This time I did get up and went out on the balcony. All my guests were in there skivvies running around in the still pouring rain. They were having a ball, and it did bring a smile to my face.
They even had soap. When a rain like this comes it means it's shower time. Most bathing for these kids is filling a big bucket and using a ladle. It's effective but surely not as easy and comforting as a hot shower. But the downpour is also a great and fun way for the kids to bathe.
I told them to take a hot shower when they came back in and they looked at me like I had three heads. Who am I!!
When I traveled into the mountains recently I kept seeing all these plastic barrels along the sides of the roads. In many countries where rain falls hard, there are deep channels along the sides of the roads. The channels are to catch the water that is coming off the side of the mountains, and divert it before it cause flooding and land damage, and with the way it rains here it can be a lot of rain at once. Anyway the plastic barrels are to collect water from the rain to wash clothes. That was my first discovery of the uses of mountain rain. Still traveling along the mountain roads I came to and discovered something interesting.
It was actual cement tanks or catch basins, that caught the heavy rain. But these tanks acted as holding tanks for shower stations. People were lined up, bathing themselves in there clothes. We passed several stations and it was the same at all. People soaping up in there clothes and showering next to the road. I thought to stop for pictures, but I also thought a good way to get beat up. Off we went!!!
So after the kids came in and dried themselves from there rain showers, and declared they were all hungry, I announced that they would be going to the movies and to the mall. It is barely $2.00 per person to go to a first run movie here. 3 of the 5 kids had never been to a movie, and the one little girl Nikki almost cried as the lights dimmed in the theatre. It was her first movie, and the dark was a new concept also. After the movie I asked how they had liked it, and if they had a good time? "It was like watching a huge TV in the mall" Jeff said. "I didn't understand it, but it was really fun eating popcorn, and fun to watch the other people laughing."

Reading my blog back to myself today, I kept thinking that this is a boring addition. Is this it, don't I have anything more exciting? I thought. Maybe I should wait till tomorrow, I haven't been sleeping well and I am particularly tired, almost asleep as I write. But then I thought about this past weekend and how all the kids are already asking/expecting to return this coming weekend. It was kept from me until today that the kids cried all the way home. Rose cried because she had so much fun, and now she had to go back and take care of her sister.
These simple little activities that these kids experienced this weekend were what was fun for all of us 35 years ago or before. This weekend was a step back in time, running around in a rain storm, watching old Superman episodes on the "computer", playing cops and robbers, even eating popcorn and going to the movies.
Even in my thought of all this being boring, and maybe this has been boring to read, the idea that such little things can make these kids so happy. I learned a lot through this last weekend. It's amazing what kids can teach you. But like anything you have to be willing to listen to the silence!!

1 comment:

Jakub and Agnes said...

Hi Warren! If you like "Big" storms come and visit us in Florida during summer time!We may have fun watching some big hurricanes! Ha,ha...