sobota, 11. januar 2014

WWOOFING In The Philippines

Just finished my first wwoofing in the Philippines. Near Rosario, La Union, on a small farm, owned by David, an Englishman, and his local wife, Carol. It was mostly fun, no real hard work, but pretty chaotic since David is not a life long farmer but a former IT company owner that just changed his way of life. I was accommodated in a big tent, shielded from the sun by some huge bamboos.
It's the dry season here so I felt pretty normal when on the second night the tent was flooded from heavy rain. Luckily I had quite a bunch of rough experiences in my life so it really didn't bother me much to sleep in a pool for the night but I was pissed of in the morning upon realizing that not only the money and documents were wet, also my laptop had swimming lessons. It was literally filled with water. I let it dry for few days and then, after saying some prayers, switched it on. Working. Good old Chinese stuff, this Lenovo.

The "Happy House Farm" (as it is called) is pretty far away from anything, but there's a little store (a bamboo hut with tin roof) nearby where I could buy beers, smokes and instant coffee or sometimes I just stopped there in the evening to drink beer with local guys who were spending almost all their time there anyway, playing a local version of pool, not with balls but with flat disks. Well, I was drinking beer, they use to drink the so called "two by two" - gin in square bottles of 2 inches.
And the most fun were the kids. Lively and lovely, at first they were scared of this weird looking foreigner, but after I started playing with them they were all over me. Unbelievably, I was even approached by a pretty young woman who asked me if I'm interested in Philippino girls... it was after three liters of Red Horse, the local beer with 7%, so I just gave her a drunk blank look and told her that at the moment my only interest is for more beer. It was a wise decision for the next day I was told she is a "lady" and if I had accepted her offer I would bitterly regret it when she would present me the bill. So I decided to keep playing with the kids.

One day I met the orphaned little Marlene.

Like all the others she was scared of me in the beginning, but she thawed quickly and we became best friends with some cookies. When she was seen so closed to me her auntie asked her if she would like to be adopted and have uncle Dag as a new father - and it turned out in the most cruel joke I've ever heard. "But I already have a father," replied Marlene.  To which her aunt said, laughing loudly: "Yeah, but he's six feet under, what are you gonna do, dig him from the grave?" If I could really adopt her! I would do it. I felt really bad for her, she has a real "Cinderella" life, has to care for her stepsister and for every mistake she makes she is not scolded or slapped, but punched in the face. And there's nothing you can do.Hate me for turning my back on a powerless child, I hate myself for doing it.
Two days ago I turned my back to everything, packed my stuff and went to the mountains. Baguio city. It's cold. I mean really cold. In Rosario I was sweating like a pig even when doing nothing and sitting in the shade. Here, in the evenings and mornings I need my winter clothes. Luckily I have them. The wifi at the hotel I'm staying is weak and has hiccups, but over the night I managed to get almost all the ongoing anime shows I've been craving for the last weeks. And I started making plans for a long hike, around 400 km, but I guess I will give up way up before the final destination. I keep noticing that a heavy backpack is more and more painful as the years pass.

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