Went walking for the past 2 days. Seeing many of the people I have met in the past 3 years. While the street kids have grown and moved onto other jobs (menial) than begging, a whole new crop of street kids took over. The difference is that these new kids know my name so I hear it being called out many times each day in addition to the standard Hey Joe calls I get from those who do not know my name.
Saw the woman who lives in a shack on the river. She came across with her 4 daughters on the raft I had made for her on my last trip. Up on the hill there are some new shacks being made and the old ones still in use. Entire generations of people owning nothing but their clothes and not paying any rents. Some kids go to school, most do not. The water tank I built is still in use daily. Someone damaged the shower head and stole the valve, but it still spews out water when the tank is full. Every time I go there, it always has 5+ people either getting water or washing clothes or showering.
There is a US funded road project that was started over 15 years ago that had caused bulldozers to come through and rough cut a road back then up on the hillside. This is what caused the squatter development to come to be. Now, with a new wave of funding, it looks as if ‘maybe’ there will be some more work done which will displace these people. So those lucky enough to be off the right -of -way can stay, if they are not on a piece of land that the actual owner has plans for once the new hard top road in in place.
Still doing the feeding programs for the street kids, but not so much at Jollibee’s now as it became too expensive. Now I buy their meals at the roadside dead fish and rice stand. Depending on the stand, it is between 20 cents to about 50 cents per meal in USD. mixture of homeless kids and old people with no food / money. Interesting life cycle to see the poor street kids begging at 2-10 years old then these same kids begging again when they hit 60+ years and can no longer work manual labor….. I find myself acting like my Aunt Helen and saying to the kids … STAY IN SCHOOL…. and all I get back are blank stares…..
Also started building a bigger, different design boat that should be able to produce enough fish and income to support 2+ families.
I was invited to the large elementary school for class picture day. I found out after I arrived I was the only foreigner / family member there and it was a secret plot to get me to buy candy…. It worked!