On Saturday afternoon, I was out sitting on the porch with Feyma. There was activity all around us, but we were just relaxing.
Our maids were sweeping up leaves under the trees in the front yard. There were sure a lot of dead leaves sitting on the ground, since this house had not been occupied for some time, and thus simple maintenance like cleaning up fallen leaves had not been done for quite a while. I sat there for 15 or 20 minutes just watching as the two maids were sweeping up dead leaves. The area where they were sweeping is in a raised flower bed that had several big trees and leafy plants. The rest of the flower bed is filled in with rather large pieces of gravel (rocks), probably about 1 inch to 2 inches in diameter. As I watched, the maids had a few different kinds of brooms that they were using for sweeping up the leaves. I sat there thinking about how different Philippine brooms were from American brooms. Firstly, our brooms have long handles so that we can stand up at full height and sweep. The brooms here generally have very short handles and the sweeper has to kind of bend over and sweep. I have tried sweeping with a Philippine broom, but I find it difficult to do, not being used to their type of broom here.
The more I sat there and watched, I realized that they were sweeping these dead leaves on top of loose gravel, yet the rocks stayed in place while the leaves moved with each sweep of the broom. I thought about how if I used a US broom to do the job, the gravel would also be flying, and leave a mess. Sometimes I am amazed at how resourceful Filipinos are in making tools out of things that we would throw away. Sometimes, their simple tools here work better than American tools that we pay good money for, it seems. I do find it amazing sometimes. Of course, the reverse is also true, sometimes their cheap tools here are such a poor substitute for our expensive but high quality tools. Still though, the resourcefulness of Filipinos is always something that I marvel at.
As I glance over to the other side of the front yard, I see my nephew, Deo, is working with our carpenter, Jun Jun. They are building a “mini-Island” for the Kitchen. Feyma has a larger Island (counter in the middle of the floor) for the Kitchen, but it does not fit well in the new kitchen, so they are building a new smaller island. Just using scrap wood and parts, I’m amazed at how nice it looks. It will certainly be useful for chopping, cutting up veggies or whatever the cooks are working on! Looking good.
Still in another part of the yard, our oldest son, Chris is working on cleaning up some lumber pieces that were left over from another project. He is keeping busy, which is good for him.
I glance at the old house across the street. It’s a stately looking old place, and shows the age of the neighborhood where we are now living.
Feyma mentions to me that it’s so nice that we can sit out on the porch and not have to listen to heavy traffic in front of the house, and I agree with her. At our old place, if you sat out front like that, you would not be able to talk with each other, because you could not hear each other talk over the heavy traffic outside. Life in the new neighborhood is sure nice!
Well, I’ve been sitting out here on the patio for some time… I tell Feyma that I’m going to head in and play with my new 3 Mbps DSL Internet Connection that was installed last week. It’s super fast too! Fastest speed you can get in Davao. Oh, I haven’t told you about that? Well, it was installed last week… Monday or Tuesday as I recall. They say the speed is 3 Mbps, but to be honest, I don’t usually get that speed. Actually, I usually get 3.5 Mbps instead. Ha ha. I am loving it.
So, this is life in the new neighborhood. I’m enjoying it. Should have moved over here a long time ago!
Bob Martin is the Publisher & Editor in Chief of the Live in the Philippines Web Magazine. Bob is an Internet Entrepreneur who is based in Davao. Bob is an American who has lived permanently in Mindanao since May 2000. Here in Mindanao, Bob has resided in General Santos City, and now in Davao City. Bob is the owner of this website and many others.