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Dale's cob house, in the Philippines has morphed-I am moving there, taking over,adopting family etc.  RSS feed

 
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I haven't really spent very much money at all. Under 1000 Canadian on everyone else. A few hundred dollars worth of dental work and a couple of hundred to extract her from the home where she wasn't being paid. Then I paid for a place that I will stay in. So not a big deal. I spent close to $15,000 on my Kenyan Odyssey. But the real Odyssey was the trip home. 66 hours, most of it without sleep.

I have a simple rule that I won't waiver from. No money spent on anyone outside of the immediate family, other than maybe the occasional Street meal. I'm not going to buy anything for anyone and I won't give anyone money. I have bought a few things for her immediate family for Christmas. Three tablet computers for the three who are going back to school. 4 power banks for the various cell phones. A total of just under $400 Canadian. And I might spend $500 on the house. If all goes as I hope, I expect to spend six to eight thousand per year for the next two years, until her siblings have finished school. Of course I'm hoping that I can set them up in a little business to supplement this or completely replace it.

The other day she told me about various people including her new landlady who have told her about various business ideas they have that require financing. So I told her that I got started in the demolition business with $100 and it cost me about the same amount when I got started in the scrap metal business years ago. I have tried many things that require no real investment, and I have been able to immediately do well. So I don't buy the whole investment needed thing anyway.

Her landlady is in her fifties and has never accumulated anything, other than an inherited house. Doesn't sound like somebody I would ever invest in. If a person hasn't done something by the time they are in their thirties, I put that in the negative column.

Her biggest worry seems to be that many people will present ideas and request. I'm always open to ideas, but almost never open my wallet over them. The first thing I would ask of anyone, is which of their other ideas have worked out. If they can't name any, I'm done.

My girl has had some silly ideas of her own. She's suggested entering into many, "me too" businesses. Things that anyone can do, that don't require a specialized skill or resource. Selling street food, selling old clothing and other things that have tons and tons of low-paid competition.

I decided to try soap, because it's not something that any of them seem to know about and it requires some knowledge and skill in its preparation. So it's not quite the same "me too" business as selling Street Food. I had a friend here in Victoria who invested in a coffee shop, where there were plenty of Starbucks and McDonald's. I suggested that they go to a small town or just somewhere where they wouldn't be crushed. Instead, a long-term lease was entered into and they spent five years working for a landlord. So, whenever I have an idea, I run it through the me too lens. My thing where I chop buildings in half and get them ready to be moved on trucks, is far from that sort of business. Most people would go horribly wrong, so I don't have a bunch of low paid competition. I talked with the family about this briefly, and really tried to stress the need to enter into things that aren't absolutely flooded.
 
Dale Hodgins
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We're going to start out slow and I'm only meeting immediate family and the landlord at first. Then a few days later, they will be a birthday party attended by about 6 people. Her situation is unique in that there is no family beyond her mother and sisters, who she sees on a regular basis. They may come out of the woodwork, but they aren't people to whom any of the rest of the family are close. I would have no problem getting her to translate a question for me, if I'm ever approached concerning needs. I would ask, "did this person bother with you at all, before they found out about me?" We have talked about that and she said that she will ask that in the bisaya language as a way of shutting down requests or statements of need.

I have hired somewhere around 600 people in my life. Many of them couldn't hold on to money, and they would pop by on days when they weren't working, with statements of need various requests. I had no problem saying no. Sometimes I would say it to the tune of well known songs drives them nuts.
..........
This is a family without a father or any strong male. The brother, is the weakest of the bunch due to his mental condition. The three sisters have been looking after the brother and mother for quite a while. So there's not really any individual in charge or anyone who thinks they are in charge. That may change because I love to be in charge of things.
 
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It is amazing how they make so little money there and any extra goes to someone who needs it even more, it is because there are just so damned many people. I remember the first time I went to Vietnam. I was so amazed at how ingenious the people there are. I swear they could take a garbage can lid and spend a week turning it into a fender for a car. I was just amazing! I remember back in 2003 my family started dying off and I thought I better get out there and see the world before my turn came. The first place I went was Vietnam, it was incredible I had never been so far away from home. I remember walking out of Tan Son Nhat Airport in Saigon and I didn't even know where I was gonna stay. It was one of the most amazing things I had ever done. I traveled all over and today could not tell you everywhere I had been there on that trip. I was there for three weeks that time, the things I saw and did I will never forget. It actually scared me so bad at times I couldn't wait to get home. I remember how happy I was to come back to my Country, the most free nation on earth, and how thankful I was to live here and be born an American. To get back to work and make money and do what I wanted do. Then I realized, that we live in a very Grey World, we have our house, our property, our work, our taxes, insurances, our bills the same thing over and over year after year, and then you get too old or die. Well less than three months after I came back, I was walking out of Tan Son Nhat airport again, not knowing where I was staying, but I was Living. I don't remember if I told you or not, but in the next 5 years I flew enough miles outside of the United States to go around the world six times, and it was truly living, scary, exciting, sad and happy. I can't talk about it too much because I miss it nearly everyday. Heck I'd go with ya, but my wife would miss me too much. Did I tell you there are a lot of cochroaches, mice, and the rice beatles when they breed and fly. Thats why they use a lot of pesticides. Did you know that Durian kills a fair amount of people there every year, not from eating it, but from dropping out of the trees and hitting them in the head. But you'll know where it is cause you can smell it from a half a mile away. I thought you said you were gonna be there for two months, thats a long time in that fuckin hot place. Even the Filipino's from here only go for a month at a time.

Good Luck Brotha
 
pollinator
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I'm following your journey like it was a cheap novel. You've got a good attitude and head on your shoulders. You've covered more social subjects than I have ever thought about. Thank you for posting this sensitive subject and tackling this is such a thoughtful manner. Like most readers I can't wait to see what works and what doesn't when you arrive and begin the being there part of your journey.
Best wishes,
Brian    
 
Dale Hodgins
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Thank you Ed and Brian. I've been even more open with everyone on the other end and that seems to be appreciated although not understood. It took a bit of convincing, for me to have her totally appreciate that her sisters and no other member of the family should have or will have any say in what I do. I have no trouble with dictatorship if I'm the dictator. To me, a person without money is generally in that situation for a good reason. I'm not going to drag anyone out of poverty, they are going to have to agree to follow my lead.

I'm sure there will be other ingrained behaviors that drive me nuts. Immediately dispensing with money is something I've witnessed here amongst the perpetually broke and it seems to be very prevalent there. Addictions are also prevalent but none of the people in this family have them. No cigarettes or alcohol amongst 5 people. That's beating the odds.
 
Ed Hoffman
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Yeah, keep us posted Dale. Your openness and honesty is sobering at the very, very least. It will be a fabulous journey to watch.
Stay strong!
 
Dale Hodgins
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The one thing I'm always worried about is getting sick. I'm feeling perfectly healthy now, and I took a free flu shot a week ago. I don't normally do that but apparently lots of people have been getting the flu on airplanes.

There was a little drama around the apartment that I've rented. It's co-owned. It was inherited by a woman and her brother. The woman who I'm going to visit knows the lady who rented her the apartment. She refers to her as her aunt , so they are quite close . The landlord's brother has been making some noise about getting more money for that apartment. I'm sure it's just because he knows that I'm going to come and stay in it. So, I got her to pay the rent ahead little further and make sure to get a receipt. Apparently today the lady said she can stay for 6 months.

She tells me that she feels weird living in such a nice apartment on her own. She's never had a nice place. We thought that the two girls who helped her out would stay there with her until my arrival, but it was very inconvenient to their work. Her sister plans to live there when the new semester starts at school.

It's certainly a busy house with children running around everywhere and fighting chickens making an awful racket. They aren't actually fighting, they just do a lot of crowing and other fighting chickens and other yards crow back. Seems to be a morning thing that just keeps on going. There's a constant stream of children visiting. They've been asking my girlfriend for candy and she has been slicing them bits of mango and other better choices. She said these kids have a sucker in their mouth constantly, because they have aunts and uncles who visit and think it's wise to continue feeding them this junk. They were all on the phone with me a few days ago. Language was an issue so I showed them tricks.
 
Ed Hoffman
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I think you can get a shot from the Health Department ( thats what it is called here ) that helps or builds up your immunity to stomach and intestinal infections. I've never gotten one but there have been times I sure wished I had.
This is counter productive advise for a Permie, but only drink bottled water from a reliable source. Nothin worse than being sick that far away from home, but Doctors are cheap there. And don't worry too much about them charging you a little more than the locals, because you get to go to the front of the line, it's worth it. Take ear plugs and you may have to wear blinders, and smile a lot and just keep walking. They have a tendency to smile and not do anything. Any medicines that you might need occassionally like headache pills, sleep aid, upsett stomach Definately take with you, you won't find it there easily if at all. And Dale, I totally forgot, take some really good toothpaste, toothbrushes and dental floss. Once they start using it they will love it. Probably more really bad advise for a permie make sure it has lots of flouride, Might keep them out of the Dentist office for fillings. Man, maybe I should just go with ya?

Good luck Brotha.
 
Dale Hodgins
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I've been in cebu philippines for 4 days now. Spend a couple days is getting acclimatized since i arrived quite tired.

It's very wet and humid with lots of standing water yet i don't see mosquitoes. Not sure what's going on there , but they definitely like their poisons.

Everything is going great on the personal front. It's a very friendly place , where outsiders are welcomed with open arms. There seem to be many available women who are very friendly , but i couldn't be more happy with my choice .

Yesterday was a family dentist day. Two check ups and six fillings set me back $65 american.

The younger sister was still reluctant and thought she should wait until her paycheck comes in . So i converted my networth to philippine pesos and showed her.We talked about the importance of avoiding delay, and all of the work got done.

It will be at least 10 days before i get to the village.
 
Ed Hoffman
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Yep, you better keep your blinders on, because all those single Pina's will be waggin their tales at ya.
 
Dale Hodgins
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After a few days of mostly socializing we got down to business with making some soap. We are using 50% coconut oil and 50% palm oil.

The following are a series of messages copied from whatsapp messages to my daughter, who also makes soap in a very small way .
............
We mostly make it in two kilogram batches. It's been difficult to find some supplies. Thermometers seem rare and I haven't been able to find a spatula for cleaning out the pots. Everyone knows what I mean but they are out of stock.
.......
I've come up with a simple double boiler system so that no suplimental heating is required.the lye and water, heat the oil.

There are nice wide railings with a tile top, that work perfectly for processing the material. The outdoor railing is used for mixing water and lye.

Today we will make salt soap.
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Dale Hodgins
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More.

The third photo shows my electric kettle which is cooking sweet potatoes and irish potatoes. After the kettle boils it is covered with a towel and allowed to cool over a couple hours. Saving electricity.
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Dale Hodgins
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Many people here eat garbage. There's a huge array of snack foods that are mostly sugar. Little cakes and cookies and gummy sticky things , all in small plastic packaging. The streets are littered with plastic. Beaches are covered in it. At the place where I live , the owners drop packaging on their own grass. Most people seem to be blind to it. There are many resellers of snack foods who set up a little store front in their own house. Most people don't have to walk half a city block to find this stuff. There's one 6 steps from my gate. You can buy cookies and cakes and instant noodles or cigarettes , but not one item that's good for you. My best guess is that there are 20 of this type of retailer , for every  fruit stand or grocery store.

We go to the big island of Mindanao,tomorrow.
 
Ed Hoffman
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Oh Shit, Mindanao! Been there, done that. Abbu Sayaff and the MILF, muslim terrorist affiliated organizations. Very beautiful but dangerous place. Oh yeah, gonna be exciting. It's not a grey world any more brotha, it's gonna be a little different there. If you get in trouble, look up Raoul Crispinni, he owns the Chrisbelle  Hotel in Digos City. He's a good guy and is into about half of everything in Digos . Theres a lot of cochroaches down there both two legged and many legged. And oh man the women, keep your blinders on. You can hire armed bodyguards there for about $5 a day. I've had some scary stuff happen on Mindanao. Sorry about the misspellings. And listen to your girl, she'll let you know when it's time to leave. Send some pictures Man!
 
Brian Rodgers
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Hey hi Dale.
You are living the dream buddy. This morning, I Goggle mapped the islands, yeah man.
I see a lot of roads, how many motor vehicles do they have there?
We're here splitting firewood and living vicariously though you right now.
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Any updates? Been looking forward to hearing more about this trip...
 
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Dammit, Alicia, you're such a tease, lol.  I was all excited for an update.  Dale could probably fund his excursion by selling subscriptions to his escapades, wherever they are.
 
Ed Hoffman
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Well, where he is, it may be nearly impossible to get internet service. I've been down on Mindanao and you have to go to internet cafes and wait in line and thats in the big cities. If he is on a smaller island, they may not even have service.
I hope he lets us know he is alright.
 
Dale Hodgins
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There was no cell service of any kind in the deep gorge of the home village. I was told it was mountainous, but it's relatively flat land up top and then a giant gorge with very steep sides. A very clean and substantial river made it.

It's a beautiful place with very serious cultural problems. About three quarters of the males are hardcore alcoholics.

We rode horses swam in the river and explored the whole area. A few of her relatives are living well. Most live in a degree of squalor reminiscent of a crack house. Alcohol that is purchased and made from coconuts fuels the insanity. There are two crops that make up 98% of what people grow. Coconuts and corn. Very little of it is eaten there. Coconut is dried with smokey fires which burn up every bit of organic matter that could be put back into the soil. The shells are turned into charcoal that sells for 8 pesos per kilogram. The corn is sold for cash and that money is spent mostly on rice and junk food. Junk food of various sorts accounts for up to 50% of the spending that i've seen. When we arrived people we're angry that we had come without junk foods as gifts.

It's an environment where almost anything can grow. The few families who decided not to be alcoholic, grow their own fruit and vegetables and almost everything else they need. Three really nice houses exist out of about 25.

There doesn't seem to be even a glimmer of hope for this community except that some of the worst offenders have offered to sell me their land and homes for a pittance. She has an uncle living adjacent to her mother, who who is the host of large drinking parties each afternoon. This joke of a man starts each day with alcohol.

To be worth investing, the village would need to lose at least five of the worst drunks. This might cost 10,000  to $15000 and would give me several acres of land with a couple hundred coconut trees and lots of river frontage.

More about the housing situation in the next post
 
Dale Hodgins
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Some pictures
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Dale Hodgins
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More
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pollinator
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Loving the pictures.

Literally Prince charming riding in on a horse.
vs
Villain with unhealthy candied apple trying to put everyone to sleep.

 
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Dale Hodgins wrote:...
To be worth investing, the village would need to lose at least five of the worst drunks. This might cost 10,000  to $15000 and would give me several acres of land with a couple hundred coconut trees and lots of river frontage.
...


Dale, do you mean: you spend that amount of money on buying the houses and land of those five persons, so they'll disappear to the city and this place can start healing?
 
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I was wondering the same thing.
Given how family works,  they might not even leave,  much less stay away.
I'm sure Dale will plan accordingly.

Coconut means coir,  milk,  cream, water,  meat,  and oil are possible.
I suppose any palm could grow there,  a world of possibilities!
I wonder what a pig finished on coconut would taste like?
A place that can grow food year round,  could really aid in self sufficiency.
I hope to hear more about how things are going with the close family,and with your intended.
Best wishes to you Dale!
 
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> [drunks]

Think, maybe: The homeless problem. Say, eg., in San Francisco. Smaller scale, but less space and fewer "public" resources.  Solving technical problems is doable. The _real_ problems are always the "wetware" - us humans. That's how war lords, robber barons, preachers and politicians arise and make their living. Messy business.

But 3 nice houses out of 25... That sounds like a pretty skewed proportion, even given my rather basic expectation of human nature. Where does the people's hope and interest get lost? Ordinarily, I'd think just plain boredom would result in more nice houses. Maybe there's something else, some systemic drag, maybe even some active cause in play here that isn't obvious just yet. OTOH, maybe there is fallow energy that might respond to leadership cum opportunity... The crystal ball isn't working just now... <g>

Beautiful, beautiful country. Thanks for the pics, Dale.  

Oh, and here's a thread which has a few posts which give a "hit list" of things to look at when considering where to set up shop.

https://permies.com/t/97740/Roadtrip-MO-Ozarks-live


Rufus
 
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Beautiful pictures!

 
Dale Hodgins
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I understand some may be  concerned when i get into opinions based on my personal accounts, but always assume that people know it's my opinion being expressed. Often, my entire post is an opinion piece.

I have never bought into the disease theory of alcoholism. I see it as a personal failing. If a person doesn't look after the children, land or their own health, I look at the result and judge accordingly.

The thing I found more surprising than the drinking, is the amount of junk foods consumed by adults. In a place where so much can grow all year, just two crops are cultivated to any extent and the resultant cash is spent on little packages of garbage.

The acute shortage of cash can really work to the advantage of anyone who saves theirs. Two people in the community are regularly profiting from others with addictions. One runs a very small junk food store and the other sells alcohol.

If I were to buy out the worst offenders it would all be done using a lawyer and having everyone in the community witness payment that is also done on video. All of the offspring of anyone bought out, would have to agree to it as well. It's a complete mess but completely within my ability to fix, since labor rates are very low and I could create employment. Anyone wanting employment would have to play by my rules. They have to keep their place free of plastic waste, and stay sober.

Shortly after we left, my girlfriend's sister called to tell us what relatives had said. They were disappointed in not receiving gifts of junk food, chainsaws and cash. They've already cut down too much along the slopes so they don't need more chainsaws .

The three sisters had some long chats as they worried about what people in the village think. So I told them that I was pretty sure that if we added up all of the thoughts coming from the Esposito family in the last few generations , it might amount to one pinch of dog shit. It took a few tries to get them to completely understand just how little stock I put in the opinions of those I met. My girlfriend enjoyed interpreting those messages. They all get it now.

Based on what I've seen i wouldn't go into any sort of partnership. It would be colonialism for their own good. There's nothing of their culture worth saving. In fact i don't know if you can call it a culture. They eat imported junk food and then listen to foreign songs on the radio. It seems that everybody has forgotten how to cook and how to be subsistence farmers.

The few families who are living well, were all quite receptive to ideas that I presented. They would like to see employment and they would like to have people begging at someone else's door.
 
Alicia Smith
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Dale Hodgins wrote:Hi Nina, I understand your concerns but always assume that people know it's my opinion being expressed. So it will be redundant to say it since sometimes my entire post is an opinion piece.

I have never bought into the disease theory of alcoholism. I see it as a personal failing. If a person doesn't look after the children, land or their own health, I look at the result and judge accordingly.



Here is a link to a meta-study, referencing 45 other imaging (MRI) studies, showing that alcoholism changes the brain in various ways, including shrinking the brain. If that's not a disease process, I'm not sure what it is.
https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/aa47.htm

Dale Hodgins wrote:
The three sisters had some long chats as they worried about what people in the village think. So I told them that I was pretty sure that if we added up all of the thoughts coming from the Esposito family in the last few generations , it might amount to one pinch of dog shit. It took a few tries to get them to completely understand just how little stock I put in the opinions of those I met. My girlfriend enjoyed interpreting those messages. They all get it now.

Based on what I've seen i wouldn't go into any sort of partnership. It would be colonialism for their own good. There's nothing of their culture worth saving. In fact i don't know if you can call it a culture. They eat imported junk food and then listen to foreign songs on the radio. It seems that everybody has forgotten how to cook and how to be subsistence farmers.

The few families who are living well, were all quite receptive to ideas that I presented. They would like to see employment and they would like to have people begging at someone else's door.



Wow, it amazes me that you felt comfortable posting all that. Thanks for sharing.
 
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Good to hear from you, Dale.

I like the way you've phrased things, about colonialism for their own good.

If nothing has survived of their original traditions or culture, and as you say, they're worshipping intoxication and gluttony, or consumption in general, showing those willing to listen and benefit from you how to get off the consumerist teat and start the upward climb that is the progress to self-sufficiency you represent is far better than the way it was going before you got there.

I see it as a system that at one point might have thrived on its own, but was then disrupted by invasive species, in this case the original European influence, which brought about the Philippines we know today. You're putting in place a new system because right now there is no functional one. The current setup consists of vice slavery (people are enslaved to their own vices, because that's the best they think they can do for themselves), which offers no way to build up their families' or communities' financial, intellectual, or social capital.

It's like they've ceased to tell their own stories because everything is lost. Is there traditional music? Does anyone play instruments? Does anyone recount family history, or are there family legends recounted?

You could essentially kick off either a brand-new culture, or a recreation of sorts, taking what beneficial cultural tatters remain and reworking them as cultural touchstones to connect what was with the permaculturally aligned new system you're introducing.

As to the sweet tooth angle, I had a random thought: would mangoes or some other sweet fruit grow there? You could try to kickstart a dried fruit or fruit leather craze to replace the junk food. You could likewise see what root vegetables will do well and see about the viability of vegetable chips replacing salty snack food.

If you moved towards a model where you could provide healthy, community-grown and processed alternatives to their snack-foods, along with locally-appropriate biodegradable packaging, they would snack cheaper, compost as opposed to ditching plastic, and potentially produce value-added shelf-stable goods for sale to outside communities. You'd be offering a better alternative that still fits aspects of their previous wants, and at the same time potentially starting up regional permacultural employment.

That would be harder, probably impossible, with alcohol as part of the business model. I would just skip that part, and when you have more control, just do what you can to make it less available, and more expensive, to purchase locally.

Good job, Dale. Keep it up, keep us apprised, and good luck.

-CK
 
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Dale, I was just flying over you.

I was further out in the sticks, mostly in Cambodia the last month. I can confirm that this is not a Philippines problem. Beer is the main consumed liquid seemingly all over SE Asia, and unlike the old days when I had a really hard time because I couldn't figure out whether a person was 15 or 40 (they all looked so young!) now its the opposite, they age quickly. Rates of diabetes, I am told, are over 70% at the age of 50 (which is when people seem to start getting some measure of medical influence). 70%!!!

What does seem different from a couple decades ago is that smoking was very rare. Seemed that everyone smoked all the time before, so win some lose some.

I have been writing some stuff about my trip, just to explain to people some of the cultural issues I ran into. I don't think I will share it, because I'm an agreeable person by nature. I just had to write it to make sense of it. I have been looking at working over there, but there are some serious structural issues that I am not sure I am mentally prepared to deal with. It has been wrecked by colonialism, then aid agencies, and now by top-down investment leading to corruption.

It almost takes a Leviathan to make a difference, which is so opposite to our philosophy in the West. John Locke would be pissed!
 
Dale Hodgins
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Bad connections have made it almost impossible for me to post anything. I just lost a long post that explains many things.

The idea of hiring anyone to build house, evaporated at about the same time that I armed myself with a very sharp machete. Loud demands for gifts and a gathering that continued to get larger, made us feel threatened. About 1 hour after my arrival my girlfriend's mother thought I should leave for my own safety.

I assured my girlfriend that there wasn't one amongst them that I couldn't finish with one blow. All were quite drunk and they are weak men at the best of times.

We fed them a few mangoes and they eventually went to a neighboring house to sleep it off.

Belligerent behavior starts around noon each day but they never seem to come to blows. There is only one route out, unless you want a very steep climb. So we made a plan to be the first ones to that trail, if anything were to happen. The trail is littered with hundreds of thousands of baseball sized rocks. I am an excellent shot and high ground would give an amazing advantage. I can't see that anyone would pursue someone up that slope.
 
Dale Hodgins
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There appears to be no clay in the village. I investigated coconut pits that are 8 feet deep. Nothing but gravel and silt. We will either move the mother out of there or i will spend $2000 dollars buying a really nice piece of land that includes a decent house.

I have started a really nice cob cooker for the house where i'm living in the city. There's lots of clay here.

The river becomes about 20 times larger during typhoons. I didn't see any typhoon damage to the trees. That's because most years the winds come from a direction where they are blocked by the steep slopes of the gorge. Theres a sweet spot umbrellas of high ground that is back far enough from the slope, to be relatively safe from landslides. The better houses are built to there.

We took horses down the river for about 1 km. Plenty of nice land there and most of the landlords are absent. Saw several really big carabao.

One of the major crops that i failed to mention. Bananas are shipped out of the gorge but also eaten at home. We were only able to find ripe bananas once. Seems that most of them are saved for sale and the money allows the owners to live on Doritos and soft drinks. There are several varieties of bananas. I have tried many of them well residing in the city. I found it amazing that it didn't seem to be a big part of the diet in the village.

There are cattle but they don't seem to milk them or to eat beef. I was told that they are raised for sale but also as draft animals. One year old calves are led up the path and sold in a nearby town. The money allows people to live on rice and junk food. A small amount of sweet corn is eaten in the village. I didn't see anyone eat coconut in any form.
 
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May I make a suggestion?

Why don't you seek out those of us who live in, and have experience with, bariotek provinces?

Might help you avoid future tampo, nose-bleed,  upak.

Ginusto mo yan eh.


 
William Bronson
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Sound pretty scary at this point Dale.
Its clear you can handle yourself one on one, and they seem too ate up to stage an organized attack.
I would be worried  they might sic some local government/cops on you, given the war on drug/corruption we read about here.

Stay safe and use the better part of valor.
 
Inge Leonora-den Ouden
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Dale, from what you wrote I get the idea that anything you can do there is better than what's happening now. Nothing seems to be left there from the original culture that could be integrated in Permaculture.
Are there still some older - no alcoholist - people to tell you how it was in the past? Could you bring back some of the old ways of growing crops for food, building houses, etc. 'wrapping' it in Permaculture?
 
Nina Jay
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Dale Hodgins wrote:Hi Nina, I understand your concerns but always assume that people know it's my opinion being expressed. So it will be redundant to say it since sometimes my entire post is an opinion piece.

I have never bought into the disease theory of alcoholism. I see it as a personal failing. If a person doesn't look after the children, land or their own health, I look at the result and judge accordingly.



Hi Dale, I'm really happy that you understood my concerns and were not offended. It takes a huge weight off my shoulders.

I think we are all full of personal failings. My personal failings include (among a gazillion others) being a caffeine addict and not always knowing how to communicate what I mean. I am sensitive to atmosphere, too sensitive, many have said. That personal quality caused me to send my post. Please believe me it is nothing personal.


 
Ed Hoffman
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Yeah, I think I warned you about all this stuff. Well you are gonna do what you want, thats for sure, but it doesn't seem like you are gonna get any help doin it. If I were there in your situation I'd go to Davao check in to the Waterfront hotel ( The Insular Hotel) it is right on the beach on the Gulf of Davao, fuckin beautiful. When I was there I got a beautiful room with a balcony right above the beach for $55 a night. They have a great open air restaurant, armed guards at the gate.
When you stroll on the beach in the evening with your girl, one of the guards ( Task Force Davao )will stroll along behind you carrying an M-16 making sure that nothing happens to you. Have a good time for a few weeks, then get the Fuck outta there, come home and do the paperwork for your fiancée. Don't buy no land or houses because those people are gonna somehow fuck you out of it. And chock it all up to learning and getting a better understanding that you ain't gonna change them because they don't want to change. So if you love and trust that your girl can live in your country, bring your ass back to Canada where you belong. Why do you think the American military left, they were sick of that crap.

And you don't want to be gettin in any physical altercations with none of the locals. Because you are the outsider, and trust me you'll be the one held accountable, no matter what.

Oh, but hey, have fun brother!

 
Dale Hodgins
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Nothing has been done on the housing front, since we haven't decided exactly what to do. There is still a good possibility that I will take over that village in some way.

I have dealt with drunks all of my life. It seems to be no different here than at home. Cater to the addiction somewhat and use superior position and intellect to your advantage. I've seen it happen here with businesses in the city. One man is running a very successful cement block business. The workers are all hard drinkers and none of them seems like they will ever be in a position to compete with him.

But I would still want to move the worst offenders along, by purchasing their assets.

1 corn field produces 3,000 pesos a year. That's 75 Canadian dollars. I can see giving him 20 years worth of income for a total of $1500. That would give me a nice chunk of river frontage. About a dozen deals like that need to happen to make it worth it for me. Most of the land is producing nothing right now in the areas I'm interested in.

When the land is grazed heavily by horses it becomes dominated by a woody shrub that they don't like to eat. It doesn't appear that anyone has had the foresight to remove this plant, so the pasture becomes quite degraded. Labor to clear an acre of this would be somewhere around $50. When I rented horses they were tied in this scrub overnight so we had to go a short distance to allow them to feed before using them. They are often tied within a few hundred feet good grazing.

Almost every domestic animal is tethered. Pigs, cattle and horses spend their lives attached to ropes. In the city I have seen hundreds of tethered fighting roosters. They seem to be the number one animal being raised. Every morning there is a horrible racket throughout the city as they all crow at once. There are about 10 of them at the house where I'm living. They dominate the yard and no useful thing is grown at ground level. Most of the trees produce something edible.

I was involved in a drunken banana harvest yesterday. I was the only one not drunk. 30 seconds worth of work was accomplished in 5 minutes. The roof got bent.
 
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