Last Updated on June 3, 2023 by Ellen
My feet hurt; they’re rubbed raw in a couple places.
On Friday, I got caught in a downpour before I hiked up the mountain trail to the hen house we have helped rebuild with the indigenous Ati tribe here in Malay, Aklan on Panay Island in the Philippines.
My feet got wet. No big deal. I’ve walked in these soaked sandals before. But this time, by the end of the up then down walk – major irritation! Ouch! Why? Very strange.
Anyway, with sore feet healing, I took it easy this weekend and minimized my activity. The feet feel somewhat better 48 hours later.
Ati project updates
The hen house is nearly complete. Finishing work continues on the chicken enclosures and drinking water system. The grounds around the structure were cleared of all undergrowth — I’m told to discourage predator snakes that might be interested in a chicken dinner! Some extra cement has been put down to help with drainage.
We’ve been told to expect the ready-to-lay hens to be delivered during the last week in July. Hopefully, there will be no coronavirus issues or delays.
This coming week, the final building preps – including electricity. The local power company (AKELCO) inspected the kilometer-long ‘main line’ that the Ati hung through the jungle a few weeks ago and gave the “go ahead”. Now about 20 native Ati houses will get basic wiring — then AKELCO will complete the hook-ups. A main breaker and some lights are planned for the hen house.
To help my sore feet heal, I put ’em up – and enjoyed beers, music, beers, laughs, beers, and conversation with two groups of local friends this weekend.
Robby is the idled embroiderer known for his Boracay souvenirs and JB is a divemaster. Both are great guys with lovely families, big hearts and thirsts, and super oceanside properties.
Speaking of oceans – a fishing boat is being built on the grounds of the Hang Out Beach resort where we are currently living in an apartment while waiting out the COVID crisis.
‘Bong bong’ – the property handyman – got a old decrepit outrigger craft and stripped it down to the small solid ‘hull’. Now he is rebuilding the frame and body and the rest — by hand.
We are providing some of the materials and “oversight”… lol. Honestly, I know nothing about wooden boat-building. But it’s neat to see the daily progress and anticipate the final product – and boat rides!
Continuing with the ‘off my sore feet’ theme; I did no cooking this weekend. My usual nightly duty was handled on both Saturday and Sunday by Ellie and mom.
El made up a whole oven full of cheesy potato and vegetable casseroles – complimented by a tasty stir fry. And mom followed up with chicken gumbo over rice (with some of the leftover casserole). Both delicious meals meant I could relax, heal, and hydrate further.
Vagabond grooming & love
Today, Ellie cut my hair for the first time in nearly a year. We figure she lopped off about four inches – and also cleaned up my other fur with the electric clippers we carry.
In turn, I snipped off two to three inches of her tresses. No disrespect to our former stylists, but we both look fine. Besides, who cares. We’re stranded on a tropical island during a global pandemic.
Finally, I’d be remiss not to mention the two-year anniversary of Ellie’s radical surgery. She wrote about it yesterday. July 11, 2018 she was discharged from a clinic into my care in Zagreb, Croatia – and we’ve never looked back.
You are an amazing woman, El. Thank you for being such an inspiring and intrepid wife and travel partner. I love you!
As always, be thankful and generous, happy trails & stay hydrated.
Life is NOW!