Went shopping in town today, later hit the beach by myself for 30 minutes, and came back for an hour of basketball.
After the beach I could feel I had a slight sunburn, so I checked it out in the shower and saw that it was the shape of my sleeveless basketball jersey. That means I got burnt shopping and NOT swimming!
It's kind of a relief because I have a horrible history with sunburns at the beach. I've hit the blister jackpot a good 5 or 6 times in 10 years. I planned to swim with my shirt on today since I haven't found any sunblock, but decided 20 minutes would be okay. I think I swam for 30 and got out. Swam is a bit of the wrong word to describe it. I waded into hip deep water and got pushed back by nice sized waves. It's a bit of a steep beach, so intimidating for a prairie boy like myself to go further in, especially on a not-so-calm day like this. Still, it was pretty fun. I floated around a bit. Hard to imagine myself doing laps, when I'm paranoid about the shoreline, but maybe the day will come with more experience and practice in the water.
Just played basketball with the guys at the court. Same crew I saw here last January. Not as much people today as yesterday because of the rain, but good enough. I'm not in basketball shape at the moment, as I spent the last 6 months working 70 hours a week, and drinking with my free time, to save up for this move. I came to the Philippines at 200 pounds; 165~170 is my ideal playing weight; not sure what I am now that I've been here 10 days. I don't eat that much, but I have drank a lot of sugar. Gonna get off the sugar though and start playing ball daily, and get to the beach as often as I can. Maybe in two weeks, when I'm used to the climate and humidity, my shot will start falling, and I'll run up and down the court a bit better.
Work on the nipa house is going well. They laid the foundation yesterday, and today have the frame set up. It's supposed to take 7 days, but seems like it's going fast. I'm taking lots of pictures which will be up once I get my computer in the mail from Korea. I can't believe my first house ever will have cost $500, and will come with a hammock. It will only be a small room, with a pretty decent sized veranda. We've got my mother-in-law's house across the street which is much bigger. When we arrived it was in shambles. No one touched it for years, and there was a lot of hoarding going on. We paid some guys to clean it out and up for 4 days, and now it's pretty nice again. The wood is polished, the floor is clean, the garbage is out, and there were no cobras hiding under, in, or over it.
Probably the thing that makes me happiest right now is the community for friends my 3 year old daughter is part of. The local kids and parents have adopted her as one of their own, even though she was a major bitch to them when we first moved here. In Korea the kids were all special and no one ever invited us over or anything. The odd kids included her on the playground, but they were usually twice her age. It was horrible. Here, that's not the case. It's hard to compare Korea to here, since it's my wife's hometown, but it's a helluva lot better for us, at least. I imagine if a Korean family moved to town though, it wouldn't be any less hospitable for them than us. My daughter's not behaving like the nasty bitch I'm accustomed to seeing her behave as to other kids, and is now a happy, smiling, playing Pilipina.
Anyways, the business is going good, and I imagine we'll stay here for a long time. I'm still thinking there's a 50% chance I'll have to work in Taiwan for 6 months to make some more change, but I'd leave my family here for sure. The kids need playmates more than a dad at the moment. If I do go there, I'll visit every two or three months, I suppose. Once the farm's on a consistent monthly schedule of pigs, I'll be back with bells on. Still, not sure if I'll even have to do that, but I now understand the eagerness of OFW's.
I imagine with costs what they are in the West, it won't be long before a lot of Fil-Ams/Cans/Azzies/Brits hit the "return" button, and invest back here instead.
Last observation for the day: Filipinos in the countryside are a helluva lot bigger than in the cities or abroad. The guys out here look more like Samoans, or bikers with tans.