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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…




Just like waiting for a bus, we have been waiting (not in a patient manner) for all the materials to arrive. Its been weeks since we approved our order of materials from the city and we were getting itchy to get started before rainy season begins.

Of course all the materials arrived within 2 days of each other including 100 sacks of cement (at 40kg each) huge water towers, steel bars and our ‘portable generator’, which also required 4 people to carry. The heavens also decided to open and we experienced our first thunderstorm. Typical.

*Please also note that this was also during the barrio (village) fiesta where no one wants to work if they are from that village.

Over 10 labourers helped to haul up the cement and a water buffalo arrives today to haul up the gravel and sand. Couldn’t find a donkey unfortunately.

Our architect and his team have moved into the new barracks and work is now firmly underway. I think he is being quite optimistic when he estimated that the restaurant/bar. Kitchen and toilet would be complete in 2 months, but we will keep everyone posted.

Its really exciting to finally see things happen and quickly at that, great to be involved and doing something at last.