Last Updated on June 8, 2023 by Ellen
Done deal. We ordered the chickens for the rebuilt henhouse we are sponsoring for the Ati indigenous tribe on a rural mountainside on Panay Island in the Philippines — during a pandemic (!).
True story. Though I still sometimes wonder: is this really happening?
Chicken order for Ati henhouse
The chicken order is for 140 chickens, ready to lay large eggs once they get settled into their new house. We are spending 535 pesos per chicken. Our total bill will be just over $1,500 when the hens are delivered – hopefully in a few weeks.
We went with the most expensive option – but it also is the option that comes with near-immediate income for the Ati people. And these people really need that. It also comes with some support and guidance from the chicken salesman. The other options didn’t include that.
The other options on our chicken shopping adventure wouldn’t really save money because the feed costs money. And by the time the cheaper, younger hens would have been ready to lay large to extra-large eggs, the final price would have been nearly the same.
The henhouse itself is coming along great. Tedly still goes up nearly every day to check on progress and see if more supplies are needed, like plywood or chicken wire.
It takes time, since everything has to be carried up the mountainside by hand. There are no paved roads. The rebuilding supplies have mostly been carried up by young, strong Ati men, and my husband, who just turned 57 years old.
The payroll this week will be the smallest one yet, because we are down to the more skilled labor. Carpenters are working on the chicken cages.
We also are moving forward on the drinking water and electricity situations, and will have more on those projects soon.
Special shout outs
A special note in this entire process to our many donors. Every donor is kind and generous. Every donation is great. We wish we could help everyone with everything. As my husband has said, “I wish I was Bill Gates.”
Despite not having billions of dollars like Gates, we have donations from humble hearts from all over the world: the U.S., Canada, Australia, Malaysia — just to name a few places where our donors live.
It lifts me up that there are kind people in the world who are interested in helping disadvantaged people who don’t have income, much food, no electricity, or easy water access.
I have not yet mentioned the missionaries who are helping us from afar. Rusty and Kristin worked with the Ati people before the pandemic. They are now riding out the global crisis back home in the U.S.
They have been sharing their knowledge with us via email and instant messages for the last month, on everything from background, to the chicken order for the Ati henhouse, and its construction. We know they will also help as we navigate through the other projects of electricity and drinking water – and we appreciate their help so much! Shout out to Kristin and Rusty Russell!
I was ‘virtually’ introduced to Kristin and Rusty by our friend Yolly, the owner of the Hangout Beach Resort. Indeed, we seem to be put here – at this special place – by special design.
Travel news from the Philippines
There are a few items of note that have happened over the last several days that I feel I should mention for our family members who are keeping tabs on us.
Aklan movement restrictions
Only people who live in Aklan can come to Aklan, and only ‘essential’ goods can be shipped here, according to the official government order. This doesn’t impact us directly, since we had no plan to leave the province and return to it.
However, it is possible our chicken delivery could be delayed. Let’s hope not.
International flights to and from Manila
Manila’s airport will open another terminal for international commercial flights as of tomorrow (July 8). A news account explains the opening in detail. Previously, only one terminal was open for commercial flights to and from other countries.
But it’s important to note – in case you want to come to the Philippines as a tourist – once you get to Manila, you are limited on where to go since many provinces (like Aklan) have restrictions. Also, Manila still has a lot of COVID-19 cases.
Closer to us, the Caticlan airport (which serves Boracay) is still closed. Philippines Airlines is planning to run two domesitc flights from provincial capital airport in Kalibo to Manila, beginning on July 10. It remains to be seen if it will really happen.
Because it’s also important to note: all airlines make it clear to customers that flights could be canceled at any time. And then you’d be stuck, quarantined at a place other than your final destination.
Thanks for reading, “Chicken order for Ati henhouse & some travel news.”
Would you like to donate to the Ati projects? Please see this post.
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