It’s late: 2:00 a.m. I took a short nap earlier this evening. Now I’m watching a thunderstorm from our balcony in Malay, Aklan, Panay, Philippines.
The wind is gusting slightly as this weather moves through. There is almost a chill in the air – for once. But my perch is completely dry and comfortable. The floor is beautiful tile. Our sliding, double-pane, UV-filtering windows are closed. A string of colored Christmas lights warms the space. The WiFi, repaired today, is working nice and fast at this time of night.
Still, I can’t help but think about the local people in their modest homes and beds in weather like this. Bamboo walls and thatched roofs likely can’t keep out all the rain. Their furnishings and floors and internet service are far different.
And I’m especially thinking of the Ati people – a marginalized, indigenous tribe of hundreds of people who live in the mountains a few kilometers from our beachfront resort.
Thinking of Ati
We met the Ati leaders and toured their villages and projects yesterday — water, electric, agriculture, and animal. My wife’s last blog post detailed our initial meeting and the follow-up thus far.
Since meeting with the Ati, I’ve thought of them and their situation frequently. In fact, I can’t get them out of my mind. How similar their circumstances to Native American Indians. How they are especially struggling now due to this pandemic and prior weather events. How friendly and welcoming they were to us – and grateful for our donation toward emergency food stocks.
I hope those kind Ati people are dry and comfortable right now. I hope the charred mountainsides they have burned off to cultivate crops anew won’t soak and slide in this current rainy season. I hope the easing of COVID-19 restrictions will soon allow the Ati with daily jobs to again sustain themselves and families.
And I truly hope that while we remain here as guests in this country, this province, this barangay (district), we can assist the Ati in getting several crucial community projects restarted and restored. They know what needs to be done – and have the people and plans to do it. What’s needed is a little financial help.
Thankfully, we have some resources we can apply – and already, we’ve had further offers of assistance from generous family members back in the USA. This will be a new experience for us Earth Vagabonds – but something we are always open to and eager to do if possible, wherever we are.
I plan to check with Ati leadership tomorrow – and as often as needed – to facilitate and encourage progress. And of course, we’ll provide updates and details as appropriate here on this blog.
As always, be thankful and generous, happy trails, & more beer.
Life is NOW!
Thanks for reading, “Thinking of Ati tribe one rainy night.”
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