Ati project & pandemic stress reliever

I took another slow travel stop on deserted Boracay Island today. Tedly, who is always working on the Ati projects, snuck away for a few hours in the afternoon to join me, at my repeated request.

Tedly has worked so hard on the henhouse, the electricity startup, and he is still working out what to do about the Ati water supply.

He has been consistent in his efforts, and there is progress on each project on display, thanks to his physical labor alongside the Ati and his constant mental calculations in evenings and ‘off’ time. With a leaner body, and a healthily occupied mind, he also has been emotionally changed.

Here is the ‘but’. But: Tedly has also half-joked about going to “work” and he sometimes gets a tad stressed out over the never-ending details of building a henhouse with all supplies hauled up by hand without paved roads; of bringing electric service to an area that doesn’t have it — in 2020 (!). He most recently has stressed over how to get the water supply to the chickens — not to mention how to improve the water situation for people.

I am so in awe and admiration of his work, his effort, his love for the Ati people who need help. His kind and selfless service has made me fall in love with him all over again. And again. And again.

So while he is not “working” the rat race like many of our fellow Americans who still have jobs, Tedly has his own stressful issues while trying to help other people have better lives. In a pandemic. In a rural area. Of the Philippines.

Pandemic projects stress reliever

As Tedly’s wife, I saw he needed a mid-week break. So I told him (repeatedly) I wish he’d meet me in Boracay for a little while today. I had to go over to meet a friend, and decided to take some time at the beach. Tedly was non-committal. He said maybe he’d go, that he would try.

Alone, I went over on the five-minute ferry ride, walked White Beach, found a spot on the practically deserted area, and got lost in my Kindle and in the view.

I wished people I loved elsewhere on the planet could experience the beauty of Boracay’s White Sand Beach.

My heart leapt (!) when I heard Tedly make the kitten noise he makes for me when he tries to catch my attention from a distance. He had made it over to the island!

When he slipped into the cool, clear sea water with a white sand floor at nearly high tide, with bright sun and puffy white clouds everywhere, with practically no one else in sight on the beach or in the water, he exhaled. “Wow!” He took another moment, and another moment, and another moment. And then: “Holy fuck, man.”

Yes. Holy. Fuck. Man.

All of this to say to anyone reading who is still working in the ‘rat race’ – or in any capacity that brings you stress — I say: please take a break. Do something that makes you say, “Holy fuck, man.” (Or your personal variation of the phrase.)

Take. A. Break.

Force yourself. Look around. Take in the moment.

Your goal: to smile, to relax, to have that phrase reach your lips without thinking about anything other than the moment.


Thanks for reading, “Ati project & pandemic stress reliever.”

You might also like more Boracay pictures.


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Ati project & pandemic stress reliever

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