With a subtle movement I slide the flip-flop off of my left foot. Slowly I take my aim and, with as much force as I can muster, I hurl it into the kitchen. Bulls-Eye! The chicken lets out a loud squawk and makes a mad dash for the door. I’m proud of my aim and the lesson I have just taught the stubborn bird but now I have to hop across the dirt floor of the nipa to reclaim my sandal.

I’ve adjusted to many things, some things without choice, but I’ve yet to give permission to have farm animals in the house. I daydream of ways to keep them out. Despite my efforts, and all the flying objects, ducks, chickens, roosters and the occasional frog or two still make their way inside to look for the falling grains of food to feed upon. I look down from my seat at the table to give a stern warning to the duck, “I will eat you. God as my witness, I will eat you.” The duck ignores my words as he continues to scavenge for rice.

Things are bit noisier than they used to be inside the home. True to my techno-nature, I’ve upgraded things a bit. Last months eighty-cent electric bill (from two fluorescent lights)

Nipa TV

Nipa TV

has now increased more than five times with the addition of a small refrigerator, a DVD player and a 21-inch television. Ok, so it’s not exactly the picture perfect setting of modern living but the additional comforts have been great for both myself and the family. We now have a bit of entertainment on those torrential rainy nights [if there’s no brownout].

When I came home with the television I thought momma was going to cry. It’s hard being poor. Not only are you living out in the middle of nowhere, without such luxuries as

Nipa Broadcasting Network

Nipa Broadcasting Network

a television you’re pretty much cut off from the rest of the world. Having such a nicety removes a bit of the shame associated with the degradation people feel from living this way. We now have a constant circle of neighbors watching movies, singing karaoke and, generally speaking, having a good time. For the first time in my life I have seen a television bring a family together instead of tear one apart. Had I anticipated the joy it would create, I would have purchased it sooner.

Jennifer and I are both looking forward to the upcoming wedding and we’ve solidified things with the pastor who will be performing the ceremony. The only thing remaining is to finalize a few of the other details and to wait on my birth certificate to arrive from the states. Due the delay, the wedding may be after Christmas but with everything else that has been going on lately (chiefly momma’s hospitalization) we had willfully forgotten about our impending rush to get everything accomplished and make our December twenty-first deadline. We have now regained our focus and everything is starting to come together.

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