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Nov 27 11 12:35 PM

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A new day, a new topic

I have been trolling through the members and noted that there are a few of us that do not reside in the . Either having left very young with a new family or starting a new life, a new beginning. Or like myself, to work in a different environment.

For those who left later in life, i.e. not as babies and who are able to make a comparison with life in the . Be it culture or otherwise, how did the change affect your life? Do you consider it a change for the better or worse? Do you ever feel homesick?

For me on arrival in I looked around and thought “Oh my God how do they live like this? The slums were the smelliest places I had ever seen. Open water canals complete with almost tame rats running around. I had six months placement here and after 9 weeks I had had enough. And wanted to come home so bad. Yet when I returned I missed the people I had met and shared my days with. I came back 1 year later and stayed in working in a small school for Deaf children and fell in love with the place. After a short spell in Cebu I transferred to in Mindanao and again found work teaching in the special school for Deaf. The salary was almost nothing so beginning the start of my coming back to and working all hours for 6 months and then going back to Phils for 6 months. This I did for over nine years and got married along the way. With the help of a great boss in who never failed to find me work contracting for Cemex Cement . The salary was fantastic and I managed to send over a fair amount which helped me renovate the school. We started with 54 students and when I said good bye for the last time the count was 247.

The abu-sayyaf were planting bombs (March 2003) in public places so we decided to come up to , near to the village of my wife. I say “near” The village is 7 hours drive from the city which is a short trip for many here. There are always people in transit, going or coming. The buses are always full but the main transport is the Jeepney, usually local made from spares and painted to show the colours of the rainbow. The worst thing for me is the country does not have means of testing vehicles which carry the public. Many run on BOLD tires so we avoid using if it’s raining ect. This includes the police cars (ha ha I joke not)..Most of which have been confiscated from a drunk driver or the like.

What things do I miss. OXO.gravy. and roast lamb. Most other items I can manage to locate. If really desperate I go to “Tesco online” and place an order, that gets delivered to a friends house and he sends it on. Very costly so we only do it once a year. Free medication and medical care. To be ill here requires a good bank account.

That’s about it, has nothing to tempt me to return anytime in the future.

Should interest be forth coming I will post photos of my adopted country. Good and the not so good so you can get a complete picture.

Regards Bobbie

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#1 [url]

Nov 27 11 4:03 PM

Hey Bobbie                                                                                                                              You can't beat OXO gravy.Many have tried and failed.KFC do a nice chicken gravy though.Tis quite yummy. :)  If Your shopping online Tesco,then try some Bisto cheese sauce.I think it's pretty tasty.It comes in a tube/carton n so it's not too costly for transport.                                                             I always wanted to go to Kenya and live in a mud hut.Really! I'd a friend when I was in a home in Manchester (also called Christine) and she'd been brought to England and somehow landed in care.She made it sound like a blissful life.There's a lady in the news just now and she's 102 years young.She's just gone and emigrated for a new start in life.Ha! We're never too old eh? Tina Turner celebrated Her 72nd Birthday yesterday.Do You remember her with Ike? Ike &Tina Turner.You'll prob remember the song River Deep Mountain High.I think it's one of their first bigger hit songs.I'm an oldie Bob Marley fan Myself.But I love all kinds of music.                                                                                                                                     I left care at 16 and married a Soldier.I had My care order revoked to marry because My care order was till I was 18.I went on to have six beautiful children and I've been Foster Mum to lots of children who were in care.I started work on My 16th Birthday in a sewing factory in Wakefield West Yorkshire called Jet Jeans.You guys would probably know the place as The Double Two factory that made shirts and work clothing.                                                                                               I'm proud to say that I've so far had a very successful career in mostly carework with the elderly and in between taking care of the children.I still care for children today,though my own are all grown up.I landed back in the town of My birth.That's Sunny Birkenhead as I call it.One day I'll get to go to Kenya.You'll see.:)                                                                                                         Looking forward to seeing Your photo's.                                                                                       Best wishes to You Bobbie (My eldest brothers name & He's a real gem).   Christine. XXX

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#2 [url]

Nov 29 11 1:15 PM

A fishy tale, but true nether the less,

Perhaps not being the sharpest knife in the drawer whenever I buy Tuna fish, I think of Tesco, middle shelf, a round tin with a high price… Before coming here I have never ever in my life seen a full Tuna fish…………That is until.

As a teacher I was expected to visit the home of my students and chat with the parents. The welcome is always the same..”Come, come, lets eat” This is a standard welcome when receiving a visitor. (In UK it’s a cup of tea)

One day I colleague in school asked what I take. “HUH? Take what, When?” …” “when you visit what do you take for the table?”  “Nothing” I reply. Oh my the looks of horror on the faces…” Oh Sir you need to offer, very rude to eat the food unless you make a gesture”

With my head low “what do you suggest I take” “It is best to take fish then even if they are veggies they will still eat the fish”

Next day off to the wet market to buy fish, but what fish I had no idea..

I explained my dilemma to the stall holder and his wife said “Tuna, get Tuna, everyone eat tuna, how many in the family. How much you want?”  Oh Lord I thought well there is 9 in the house so I said rather too loudly “ You had better give me 2 or 3”  The whole market went into dead silent mode. The whispers were getting louder “The white man wants 3 Tuna” The man was grinning as he spoke to his wife in his native tongue who nodded and told me to wait."my husband will get from the cold store". All eyes were on my back and the silence was LOUD. A tap on my arm and on turning I came face to face with the man with a (what looked like a shark) fish on his shoulder. “Here da first, where your car and I get the other two and put.”     IT WAS HUGE. “NO! NO! Do not get” The market was in bits and I felt bloody stupid. I then saw that they were only teasing me. My friend explained why I needed the fish and the stall holder and his wife refused payment for what seemed to weigh 4 kilos of fresh tuna.

The next day 7 families ate Tuna for tea....ME? I had egg on toast ha ha ha

Need less to say if I ever needed to buy fish I made a bee line to the same couple who over time became dear friends.

I still smile when I see a small tin of tuna….

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