Where The Garden Grows

The wind blows with a steady force causing the bamboo stalks to sway and creak with a sound that is both ominous and relaxing. Occasionally a lizard or two will make their croaking and, not to be left out, the rooster will crow. We all lie in our beds dead tired from the day but the jungle remains alive.

Life Is Hard. Even The Kids Work.

Life Is Hard. Even The Kids Work.

I catch a glimpse of the moon through the bamboo lattice of my window before I drift off to a sleep that is peaceful beyond description. It’s hard to describe contentment.

We had no rain through the night so I awaken to begin the four to five hour chore of watering the garden. Pump the water, carry the buckets, water the plants; rinse, wash and repeat. My feet ache from carrying what amounts to a few hundred gallons of water and squatting to give each plant the attention it deserves. By the time it is all done, exhaustion gives me the hallucination of having watered the weeds and pulling out the vegetables. I would have quit this exercise a long time ago but the flowering of the okra, the birth of the tomatoes and the

Petsay, Tomatoes, Watermelon and More!!

Petsay, Tomatoes, Watermelon and More!!

growth of the petsay compels me onward with the hope of a really awesome harvest. I can already taste the watermelon even though the vines are only a few inches long.

When I can take no more of the garden, I retire to the shade of the nipa and pull out the laptop to finish my Ilonggo lessons. I’m by no means fluent but I can make out most conversations. What was once a foreign language is now becoming second nature as the English in my head slowly turns to Hiligaynon. My mind occasionally freezes up and I hold a blank stare on my face while trying to figure which language to use. I give it a few more months before the English takes a back seat to the local dialect.

I still haven’t taken the camera into Sara for pictures yet. I always forget when I head into town. Who remembers to take pictures of their own neighborhood? I’ve tasked Jennifer with the chore of reminding me the next time we head out for a grocery run.

Slowly I’ve acclimated to the pace of life although I don’t believe I could handle the life of most farmers here. After the rice harvest, they do nothing until it is time to plant again. There’s little work here and so they bide their time at the local sari-sari stores playing chess, playing cards and engaging in small talk. Were there not the basic necessity of health care, food and shelter, it would be a rather glorious life.

Even The Cat Is Amazed At The Garden.

Even The Cat Is Amazed At The Garden.

Jennifer has finally received her birth certificate from the NSO here and now nothing remains but us getting a notarized letter from her parents stating we have their permission to marry. That should be a simple trip to the attorneys office in town and then we’re off to the consulates office in Cebu to obtain the legal affidavit of capacity document that is required. We still haven’t made any definite plans for the details of the wedding but somehow, we’re less concerned as we remain preoccupied with the day to day affairs of life.

I sit at the dinner table and scarf down two Tilapia – head to tail as well as a few handfuls of rice. Jennifer chuckles a little as she once more states, “see, you’re Filipino now”. “No”, I reply as I stand to my feet. I lift my shirt half-way up, tuck it under and scratch my belly. “Now I’m Filipino”.

3 Responses to Where The Garden Grows

  1. Linda

    January 26, 2010 at 5:06 am

    The cat is not amazed. It sees new soft dirt for you know what. That cat will be on the table soon. Mine usually manage to step on, dig up, or play my jalapeno plants into oblivion. If they didn’t eat so many rats, birds, and squirrels, they’d take a very long trip.

  2. Linda

    January 26, 2010 at 5:09 am

    What is that bamboo grid looking thing on the left? What is growing there? What it do?

  3. Jon Kokko

    January 26, 2010 at 11:35 am

    That on the left is support lattice for the tomatoes. They got so large the plants were falling over so we had to prop them up.

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