Friday, 22 July 2011

Mila's place

Travis feeding the new addition, very cute!
Mila at the well
Simon at work with his audience
Flash wheels

While my good friends Debbie and Simon are their family were in the UAE they employed Mila to help them with the youngest and around the house. Sh quickly became part of the family as they laughed and cried, celebrated  and commiserated all that life brings. Mila's last few weeks were cut short due to a family crisis so goodbyes were    not as good as they might have been. Nothing the indomitable Debs and Simon couldn't handle, with the help of Travis their youngest. On their way home to New Zealand in their summer school holidays they stopped by Mila's place. I'll let Debs pick up the story from here. 

18 July 2011

What a great day!  This is soooo much fun and sooo rewarding!  We got picked up by our driver Roosevelt (Mila's cousin) and off we went. Simon and Trav went off to measure up the house with a builder dude and Mila and I went to put her money in the bank for the rice field and went to buy her her first couch!  For $300NZ dollars we managed to get her a whole lounge suite which was exciting... and they delivered it a few hours later!  After talking to Roosevelt (his Mum owns rice fields) we have realised that rice fields are a bit more expensive than Mila's sister first thought so Mila is putting it in her savings and going to build on that.

Anyway, next stop were the hardware stores, paint shops, tank shop and toilet shop.  We got the materials for the water tank, the leaky roof, the new front door and the new toilet(which by the way will be a room now connected to her house with a proper porcelain toilet and solar shower)!!! Totally exciting. We have discovered that we can do all of this for $1500NZ dollars... including the labour costs (7 men over 4 days is the estimate)!! Can you believe it!??  Your money is being well spent let me tell you!  

The lads enjoying a swim
We will talk to Roosevelt more about rice fields in the morning and let you know how close we are to that. Anyway will try and send the video of the house pre our work and then Mila has promised she will send us the afters....we gave her Abbey's old computer today so now I will teach her how to use it tomorrow.  (She says "thanks so much Abbey"). For now I will attach the photos.  Simon told me I sent the last lot 3 times so I will try it once with the apple computer, let me know if it doesn't work.
See ya,

20 July 2011

Hi everyone, we were too tired to do the update yesterday so now that we are refreshed we will fill you all in…What a great day! 6 workers turned up at Mila’s this morning to begin building the toilet, fixing the roof and installing the water tank.  Simon had his own project, which was putting the new front door on the house. Building a toilet means building a kind of septic tank which the men had to dig into hard clay for…… it took all day.  Travis decided to explore it a bit deeper and fell in it!! Luckily he didn’t really hurt himself!

Mila and I went 200 metres down the road to her cousins pig farm and we bought two small pigs and deposited them in the pen.  Mila’s brother, Junior, already has a black one so their mission is to build
The new door, almost there
a pigpen for Mila’s next. Mila, Travis and I also took a visit to the cemetery to say hello to her parents, its just sooooo sad. Dad died 20th May 2010 and Mum 29th May 2011!!  All the changes that we are making to the house are the dreams that her two parents have had for years, wish they were here to
see it!  Mila is still very very sad and I guess she will be for a long time.

Anyway, Simon sweated his butt off making the door with a crowd of about 15 women as spectators!  He handled it well!  We bought the entire village ice-cream, a little ice-cream trike pulled up and once word spreads there were about 40 people eating ice-cream!  Classic, it cost all of $8! Marilyn arrived from Abu Dhabi in the afternoon so it was great to see her in her village before we left.  She is just soo happy that all of the work is being done and that Mila’s house will be more habitable.

Mila and three of the kids stayed in the hotel with us on the last night.  What a great event that was. The children ran into the bathroom and started stripping off, they thought the shower was just fantastic!  Jennylyn thought it was raining in the house!  She also thought the beds were fantastic for jumping up and down on! We all showered and went out for dinner then the 4 of them went to their room to get full use of the facilities! Simon, Travis and I crashed!

Travis had the most awesome time in the village.  Lizards, frogs, pigs, chickens, ducks, dogs, cats, and about 20 children to play with! In one of the photos you will see he got treated like royalty with Junior setting him up on a hammock with a fan blowing on him! There has been a slight change of plan with the rest of the money bythe way….  I am sure you will all be ecstatic to know that you are going to put Mila through University!  

After a lot of thinking and talking with her sister Marilyn, Mila has decided she would like to follow her dream and go and study with her friends at the local university.  She is tossing up between teaching and ICT.  She is very excited as it has always been her dream but unfortunately her parents were unable to afford it.  She will spend the next week buying a uniform and finding out about the courses that they offer.  It costs about $350 (12000pesos) a year here to go to University, which I know doesn’t seem much to us, but is a fortune to them!  Her parents were earning about $5 a day and raising 4 kids!!  She has enough for the 4 years study and then plenty left to save for that elusive rice field. We will of course keep topping her up!

We treated everyone to breakfast this morning and the entire clan dropped us off at the airport!  It was sad saying goodbye, Mila was a bit of a mess but she is very excited about beginning a different journey! Thank you all so much again, her family is just soooo thankful and as they said “words are not enough.” We are now off to feel guilty in the luxury of Boracay!  We are looking forward to a rest.
See you soon!!

So there it is, a lovely story of friendship and support. I will blog any new photos, the after shots, as soon as I get them and keep you posted on the progress. If anyone feels moved to help a little, comment here and I'll pass on Deb and Simon's contact details. It takes so little to achieve a lot in improving the life of our fellow man.

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