Monday, September 13, 2010


My "number one fan", as my host dad calls him, is always hanging around my family's compound. He is 11 years old and his name is Chris.

Chris aka President of my fan club.

Chris loves to ride his bike up and down the street in front of my house, hoping to see me (sounds a little creepy but really it's kinda cute). One day I asked my host siblings, Crystal and Jon-Jon, if they like to ride bicycles. That is when I learned that not only did they not know how to ride a bike, but neither did my host parents or cousins, Darielle and Dax. So I decided that I needed to teach them how!

Now I can't really remember not knowing how to ride a bike, so I wasn't sure how this was going to go. But I knew the most important thing was to have a bike to practice on! Like I mentioned before my host family does not own any bikes. Bikes here are a major mode of transportation, along with the trike (powered by motocycle), there is the sideseat, which is powered by a very skinny and in-shape guy who rides a bicycle attached to a side car. Therefore unless your bike is your job, they are kind of seen as a luxury, and one which my host parents have decided they can do without. So where was I going to find a bike...... Chris!

Chris was very reluctant to share his bike with us, but he is my number one fan after all, so I worked my charm and got him to hand over his wheels! 

Me and my host mom teaching Dax how to ride!

It didn't take long for this learning session to turn into a neighborhood activity! My host mom, Lisa, came out and helped me push and pull the kids on the bike, teaching them to peddle and balance on the bike. 

My host mom and sister, Lisa and Crystal.

This gave me a chance to take a break and sip on some young coconut juice thanks to my Tita Nina. Very healthy to drink on a hot day!

Yummy yummy butong juice!
The kids are still learning but I remind them to practice every day!
My Tita Kisang's dog, Timay, kept laying in the way! She was about to be run over a couple of times!

Timay, move out of the way!

Here is a close up so you can see just how cute Timay is! and She is set to have puppies in a few short months!


Timay is my constant companion when I seek rest on Tita Kisang's porch. Her house is the farthest away from the street (but still on my family's compound). It is a really nice house and the porch has the best breeze so I usually spend the hot afternoons there trying to stay cool. Timay always joins me and sometimes Neil or one of my other cousins will play cards with me. Tita is also always trying to feed me no matter how much I tell her "Busog gid ako!" ("I am so full!"). 

Timay 'keeping guard' of the porch.

A really awesome view and cool breeze can always be found at Tita's porch.
Along with lots of smiles and food!

This is my favorite spot to hang out with my family or have some alone time reading my book. I am very lucky to have relatives with land as appeasing as this. And Tita tells me they will be harvesting the rice soon, so I will be sure to take lots of pictures when that happens!

Well there is definitely an ugly storm rolling in so that is all for now!



  1. This blog is my favorite by far!! It starts out with Chris (who could be a boy with a bike from anywhere who loves his bike and is reluctant to share). Then the whole famiy fun of teaching children to ride a bike (again could be anywhere). I love how it shows your interactions with your host family and how beautifully "normal" they are. Now I can also see why you love going to Tita's house to hang out on her porch. It is beautiful!! Thanks for sharing such "real" moments of your new life. It was pure joy reading it!! Keep em coming, my teacher.

  2. I L-O-V-E being able to read this blog. It is such a joy being in this close of contact... knowing what your experiences are like! We are thrilled to know and love such a fabulous story teller!!!