Category: pictures

Making sacrifices (not for the squeamish or those eating breakfast)

We both knew moving far away and setting up a business would mean making sacrifices. Who would have guessed they would be so literal.

A few days ago while the concrete for the foundations was being poured we were told we needed to get some chickens. For lunch? no. They were to be a sacrificed to the spirits of the forest as a thank you for using the land and a blessing on the house.

In the end we found four chickens, three of which were sacrificed and their blood went into the cement foundations and around the house.
Dana decided to save the last one who was obviously a little shaken after watching its friends meet such a grisly end.

Her names Belinda and she now lives on the hill.

The workers saw to it that none of the chicken was wasted. It was delicious.



3 chickens were harmed in the making of this blog post.


I guess I do practice Santeria.


Under Construction

In the Philippines there is two speeds, slow (glacial) and fast (Usain Bolt). While the internet speed is stuck in the ice age our project is moving at near on light speed. We have now moved fully into the construction phase of our project.  With sometimes over 20 workers and 5 carabao onsite work is starting to progress rapidly.

After finally moving over 100 bags of cement, 800 bags of sand and gravel and over 3,000 foot of lumber to the top of the hill things are starting to take shape.

We now have the foundations and walls of the kitchen and toilet, the skeleton of our bar and just a few days ago  the first cottage was finished (all be it with out doors or windows).

I won’t go in to the messy details of how its all being built, it’s long, complicated and mainly because I typed it once already only to lose it to the evil computer spirits.

Rather I will let you look at some lovely photos and for anyone who finds still pictures boring there is a short video too!




Stay tuned next week for a chicken sacrifice…


Breaking new ground.

It feels so good to have started work. Even though they are only small parts in a much larger plan the first steps have been taken. We have worked through the rigmarole of hiring workers, working out pay and schedules, we even have a supervisor and an architect (not licensed).

After about a week and a half of manual labour we (they with our supervision) have managed to construct a simple bahay kubo (a rest/picnic hut of sorts), a woven bamboo fence around our property and cut some steps into the hillside.


We are learning the ropes of book-keeping and staff management. All out goings at the moment, its eye-opening to see how fast it is possible to spend money. It doesn’t seem to matter how carefully you plan new costs crop up all the time. Sometimes small amounts like having to pay 0.05p per bucket of sand and sometimes much larger over a £1,000 for a water tank (of which we need two..). Highs and lows come and go reminiscent of the waves we sit and watch from our cottage.
Learning new skills and trying to remember forgotten ones keep us busy. whether it’s trying to work out the surface area of a trapezoid shaped piece of land or the volume of a cylinder for gauging water filling our well. Who knew there was more to math then what you can do on a calculator watch.

We have a small garden growing, it’s currently contained in old sardine cans and used sprite bottles. We’re looking forward to the day we can plant them.

Rainy season is fast approaching. Dark clouds loom on the horizon. The first rains have already fallen, it will be a race against time to get the foundations in. Stay tuned.