“Gee, It’s hot here!”

I feel like the abominable snowman from one of the Looney Tunes cartoon.  He has chased Daffy and Bugs to a warm, tropical place and he’s sitting in a lounge chair.  “I looked and I looked, but I couldn’t find my little bunnieee rabbit.   Again, “Gee it’s hot here.  Dahyaaahh””.”  Bugs turns away, looks back, and the snowman has melted.  It’s now safe for Daffy to come out of hiding.

No hiding for me. 


I’m stuck with this and I’m going to have to learn to live with it.  To give myself credit, this is only the first morning.  11:10am, and the sun is beating down on the house.  I’m sitting RIGHT EXACTLY IN FRONT OF THE FAN because I can’t stand to work around here unless the sun goes behind a cloud.  But I accomplished quite a bit this morning; helping clean house, setting up a rain bucket, repacking warm clothes to the bottom of the suitcase, organizing our stuff.

The boxes for the library are here…


Safe and sound.  One is a little bent up, but I’m sure the books are fine.  They are now “shelves” for our suitcase.  We’ll break into them tomorrow, too much other stuff to do.  Besides, there isn’t really a big rush.  We aren’t going to put the library in our house.  The house is too small.  By the time we get shelves and such in here, the house will be stuffed.  It’s small, roughly 340 square feet total.  Including a small porch.


Now think about it.  Twenty kids show up to get books and the kitchen and living room area have book shelves everywhere.


That is a full sized bed that converts to a couch.  Kind of spendy, but worth it.  We put mosquito net over this area at night to keep ‘em out.  Lots of skeeters around here at dusk.  None whatsoever as I’m typing.  But plenty of tiny ants.


Pulling back, you can see the problem.  That is a bathroom in the corner.  Toilet, bucket flush with a can similar inside to hold our water for bathing and washing.  Just not enough room as we would lock both bedroom (storage room) and the kitchen to keep our personal stuff from sprouting wings.


We are going to have to purchase some shelves as we only have this table, a card table, couch, and boxes to put items on or in.   It seems to take only minutes to lose something in this chaos. 


Praxy, ever resourceful, had me move the stove out on the porch.  Much too hot to cook indoors.  We had a tasty breakfast of pork, fried rice, eggs, and coffee.  After some angst and cursing on my part when I thought the luggage inspectors had taken some critical parts to the stove.  It was a TOTAL headache to get the regulator, hose, and hose fittings for the stove.  Bring your own from the states.  Buy a regulator with a 1/2 hose barb and 1-2 meters of propane hose.  The local stoves come with hose barbs, my stove from the states had 1/2 tapered brass fittings.  Those are scarce around here and, with the help of a cousin, we improvised a solution.  I had someone try to sell me nylon water hose.  Hah, the propane will eat that stuff up.  Sometimes, it will create a liquid that jams your regulator, depending on the type of hose, making the regulator useless and forcing you to purchase another.

People around here have absolutely NO IDEA about technical matters.  Unless it has cost them a bunch of money in the past.  No problem, no worries.

Back to the library.  As I type, there is pounding just down the street.   Judi, this is where your donations will go.


This will be the new multipurpose building for Asgad.  It is being built by foreign money and should be completed in about three months.  Since there is real money involved, I think that timeline is pretty close.  The books will go here.  We’ll send money for shelving and such when that time comes.  Completing the library project.  We will unpack the textbooks and school materials right away as they will most likely never be in the library.  Most likely scattered at schools throughout Eastern Samar.  The casual books will stay (hopefully) safely in our house.

Speaking of which, it looks like we will indeed take possession of the house.  There is some question as we are foreigners, but the baranguy captain has the final say and he has said it will be ours.  Cool!  Well, hot.  Still sweating away by the fan.

Speaking of which, I paid my last respects to our old house during our morning walk.


The old location.  The only thing left marking it is one pitiful support leg on the left of the picture.  The local girl is texting from the only place in the area with any type of cell service.  The beach.  Not enough signal for voice.


New location.   Vines are covering the floor, which is still intact some 300 yards away down the beach.   This is massive, about 20 feet across with 12 inches of concrete and tiles on top.   Probably weighs at least two tons.  I now have a lot of respect for storm surge during typhoons/hurricanes.   It will disappear under sand and vines in 20 years.  After two years it is getting harder to spot.  Perhaps someone will dig it up some day and wonder.

Backing up, I looked to see it’s route to get here through the trees.  Unless it was on it’s side, it could not be in this location.  That means the waves picked it up, turned it on end, and pushed through the palm grove side on.  A few trees are sheared on the route and there is a grave site, cleared when this massive chunk of concrete plowed by.  Every other scrap of ground in the area was covered with debris, so the locals buried nine people nearby.

You just changed paragraphs, but it’s been about two hours for me.  I had noticed the room getting a little darker and the air had cooled.   Then, rain.  Lightly at first.  Two minutes later, a deluge.  Praxy was into the bedroom in a flash, changing to her swimsuit.  Then out to our leaking from gutter for a shower bath!   She asked for for soap and shampoo.  I provided it from the bathroom.  Looked inviting to me, I changed and joined her.  No way on pictures, the rain was pelting down.  Praxy finished up and ran around back.  “Your water bucket is full, grab the barrel!”  So I spent two hours enjoying being cool for the first time since I stepped off the jet in Tacloban.   Filling one barrel and getting a little over half in another.   As the rain continued.  Thank goodness it’s the rainy season.


I stole this idea from a house in Viejo (old) Asgad.  Cut off the bottom of a 1 liter bottle and it fits snugly over the downspout.  He didn’t cut the top off, but if we get a truly big rainstorm, I’m ready.


The staging point on top of our septic tank.  Note the funky breather pipe.  I don’t know what to do about this yet.  A very poor design by the installer and it looks vulnerable to passing children.  Anyway.


First barrel transferred to the bathroom…

I want to get a 55 gallon barrel.  To do that, I’ll have to cut the downspout.  No problem.  Also going to buy 45 and get rid of the water bottle funnel that is a bit of a pain to put on the pipe.  I’ll use the light blue bucket to transfer water to the smaller barrel in the bathroom.  The green one is heavy enough to hurt my back.

The well water we are using is nearly as saline as the ocean.  It is pumped from a shallow well one house away.  This soft rain water is something that we will appreciate.  Since this is the rainy season, I plan to do this at least every other day, weather permitting.    The bathroom is very clean, but doesn’t look it.  The stains are from the tile laying crew.   Grrrr!   We’ll pick up some muriatic acid on our next trip to town and the floor should be good to go.

I’ve got to go back and get you all from Can-Avid to Asgad.   Since internet speeds could be unreliable, I’m going to break my story into another segment.

2:41pm  12/10/2015  Asgad, Eastern Samar, Philippines

About Ken

I am a federal employee that loves to travel. I don't get any time off during the busy salmon tagging season, March through November. So, I save my leave and explore the warmer parts of the world during the winter.
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