The news never stops – even on bed rest!

I’ve spent most of the week in bed. The photo above is what that looks like – courtesy of my wife.

It’s not how I ever want to spend early-retired time in an exotic foreign country. But it seems wise right now here in Panay, Philippines where we have been since mid-March, waiting out the coronavirus crisis.

I’ve tried to relax and keep my feet elevated ever since a scrape on my right calf became painfully infected. It happened on Tuesday. I’ve been taking antibiotics since Thursday morning.

The injury, though still ugly, hasn’t gotten any worse. I drew a circle around the redness with magic marker so I can tell if it gets bigger. No change. If it does increase, I’ll go to the local hospital/doctor.

One downside to the days of bed rest; my lower back is now aching. Literally, too much laying around, I think. I took ibuprofen today.

The news never stops: 4 more updates

Abbreviated Ati interaction

Of course, with my leg and back like this, I abandoned any thought of hiking up the mile-and-half-long, steep, jungle trail to visit the hen house we recently helped rebuild for the local indigenous Ati people.

I was last at the hilltop location on Monday. Everything was a-OK.

I’m currently seeking the right balance of involvement with the ongoing project. Now that the 139 chickens (one died) have been laying salable eggs for three weeks, the Ati are in charge. Yet, I still feel compelled to check on things.

The hen house project was made possible by donations from generous overseas donors – and I want to continue to have some oversight at this early stage. Moreover, I’ll still do whatever is needed to help the operation succeed and thrive.

Above is what I really like to see. That’s Michael, carrying seven trays (210) of fresh eggs on his head. All the eggs are hand/head carried down for distribution and sale. Old school! And there are the hens. I miss the girls.

I often think about the chickens and eggs and the Ati caretakers and the business. And I do have a few items (more egg trays, sanitizing concentrate, some sponges, another large plastic water bin) that I need to deliver. Hopefully, Monday or Tuesday I’ll be OK to walk up for a visit.

Earlier this week, I did visit the Ati tribal secretary, who lives close to us. She reports further consultation and progress with the local power company (AKELCO).

About 20 Ati homeowners up near the hen house are completing the new-customer application, certification, and safety processes so that electric power can be provided soon (another effort we and our donors are sponsoring).

‘Hang Out Express’ boat & fishing update

In other news, the outrigger boat we helped build here at the Hangout Beach Resort has been hard at work fishing – and catching.

We’ve been given big, tasty, fresh fish twice this week. A fabulous ‘return on investment’! Great job Captain Bongbong! Mmmmmmm.

There is a ‘learning curve’ with the boat and equipment, and we see them at all hours trying their hand. One day, I noticed another vessel towing our boat to shore while the crew held some large fish.

Turns out some water got splashed onto the spark plug wires during the catch. No problem. The boat is fine. They are out fishing right now.

An American appears!

The night I scratched my leg, I met another American! Norman is a retired U.S. Navy veteran from Hawaii (born and raised in Green Bay, Wisconsin). He’s lived in the Philippines for years, but just moved to our beachfront.

I’m pretty sure Norman is the first American any of us have met since early March – before all the pandemic and lockdown and travel hassles.

We had a beer and visited for a bit with our local Filipino friend, Jb. Norman proudly showed us his beloved turntable and album collection. Wow! Old school!

I’ll undoubtedly spend more time with Norman in the near future. During our time here in Malay, Aklan, I have met folks from Belgium, Wales, Scotland, Australia, Germany, Italy, Cyprus, Canada – but no other Americans. Could be some interesting conversation – and classic vinyl music – with Norman.

Boracay return

Finally, Ellie and I have decided to return to Boracay Island (10 minutes by boat) for some more ‘husband & wife time’. We enjoyed our stay at a clean, comfortable place a couple weeks ago for $9 per night – so we’re going back.

The beaches are incredible. The island is (unfortunately for the economy) deserted. The prices are now reasonable. It’s our kinda place! And we’re really lucky to have this option at this time.

While my leg heals and we wait for Ati/AKELCO developments, we’ll spend some more time on Boracay while mom stays at our current apartment. Of course, we can easily go back-and-forth as needed, for any reason – and we will.

As always, be thankful and generous, happy trails & more beer.

Life is NOW!

Thanks for reading, “The news never stops – even on bed rest!”

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Monthly expenses series:

Life is Now.

The news never stops – even on bed rest!

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