Monday, July 28, 2014

Mining and the new volunteer

Finally, the excavation for what they say “gold bars” in some parts of the area has been stopped. If the owners did not try to visit last month, they wouldn't find out that the man they trusted has been digging their lot for treasure hunting. I was planning to write about it but it took so long before I had the chance so now it was over. He was digging it for five months (with other people that he paid to help of course) pretending that the owners of the area is supporting what he was doing. And just because he was the former caretaker of that area, nobody can stop him except for the people who really know the owners or, the owners themselves. Sad to say, he destroyed a big part of the lot where it’s not suitable for planting anymore. I was surprised one morning when they were knocking at the door asking me to bring them to that man, the former caretaker. When we arrived at his house his wife and his son said he wasn't there so we waited a few minutes then he showed up very nervous and sensed that a bad thing is going to happen. Then there was the confrontation and he apologized, lied, and foolishly explained everything and even tried to bribe the owners by saying he can continue digging if they want and give them their part of the gold bars when he succeed. My question is, how do the owners took that idea? Or what do they think about the man? 

They really felt frustrated because before they asked that man to cut the trees he planted at the area for a worry of having to pay him when the time they want to use the lot back. The man did not ask their consent; instead he violated a lot of their agreements that’s why the owners do not trust him anymore. So because of that they filed a complaint and the former caretaker finally stopped. It was pity that we never really had enough time to talk about collaborating on the next level. We would be willing to listen to their suggestions if they have, and also would love to think about necessary things such as having a safe connection of water through their names, or ask them if they can afford to put a stable fence that would permanently keep away the animals and the vandals from having a chance. Or maybe safe enough for us to put the materials and leave it there so we won’t have to carry them most of the time. Or perhaps they would like to garden as well. I’ve heard that the woman is working in Dubai but I didn’t really have enough time to talk with her husband and to the other couple, the owner’s sister. She and her partner live just in Davao and work in one of the president’s local department. That’s all I remember. I contacted them twice and asked if they can spend time to talk about the project, until now I’m still waiting for their reply, hopefully one day they will be interested to help in improving the garden.

Every now and then we still go out to the fields for our composting activity. Although it is currently inconsistent because of so many factors such as my personal health, rain, and the destruction of the cow field for subdivision construction, it is still worthy to look back what happened from the past few months. As of now the grass are growing back again and I think people now leave their cows out there again for food, so hopefully they will not gonna raze it again that soon so that we can continue getting cow dung again. 

Another new volunteer friend we now have is Ampit. A guy from Mangagoy, Bislig, he was a fisherman in that area for a couple of years. This is the main livelihood that helps his family survived even up to these days. At first, it sounds so exciting to us, knowing that fishing is a very ancient human activity and it is one of the most important things to learn if you are a fish eater. In his case, most of the time he go out to catch fish for a month or more, together with people who also grew up in this kind of activity. But it challenged my perspective to hear him said that he is tired of doing this thing. For so long, being in the middle of the ocean, it dawned on him that it was not the right life for him. He told us about his story, that one day he almost died because of this job. One day he and other fishermen had a very bad accident in the middle of the ocean, because they still went out to catch fish even there was an approaching storm. So the boat they’re in was wrecked by the raging wind and waves, they got lost for two days floating in the ocean until they were rescued somewhere way very far from where they came from.

 During this experience he thought of many things, witnessed unusual human tendencies, traumatic moments, and extreme fatigue and hunger. He was really thankful that he is still alive, and now he has a daughter which he really love and is giving him more reasons to live a good life. For now he is part of the project but he is also working as a construction worker somewhere in the city. We were thinking if only we could afford to provide ourselves allowances for full time participation, perhaps it would be easier for us to progress and provide efficient programs. We really thank him for being so dedicated and helpful ever since he became part of the projects.


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