Our Home by the Sea

By Amy
After the van dropped me by the door of this house, I start my journey of noticing my host family. At first, I just threat host family as the role of family hotel. Therefore, at that time, what I noticed is only the extraordinarily beautiful sea view in the balcony, and several cats in this house—and these are also things that make my friends keep envying me when they visit our house. After a week until know, I really consider my host family as my family, and they also treat me as their own child—I can feel that they treat me with a caring heart.
Beautiful sea view outside the balcony of our house

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I like the beautiful sea view outside the balcony very much. To my surprise, the data speed is also quite satisfying in the balcony. So, one of my favorite things is to sit on the balcony and enjoy the sea view, while chatting on the phone and petting the cat sleeping on my legs. People here loving swimming very much, and they almost go swimming every day. “When you are tired, you go swim, then your tiredness is gone”, said by my host grandma, and I can see that the locals all believe in this. Even children here know how to swim in the sea, and their skills are even better than mine! It is a lot of fun to play with these children in the sea. At Sunday night, my host family all went out for night swim. Instead of with sunshine, they prefer swimming with the moonlight. And I am astonished by their swimming skills because I myself would never dare to go for a night swim.
My host grandma is a very good chief. She is good at cooking a lot of kinds of traditional Philippine food, which all have unique names. She sells snacks for breakfast and help other villagers cook when they are holding event like wedding of fiesta. She always say “I hope you like it” after she prepared food for us. On night at the table, when we are talking about the restaurants in the market, she said that she was hoping to open her own restaurant when she was young. “But I have no money” said by her with a pity. Sadly she found that when she now have earned enough money, she didn’t have the energy to maintain the daily running of a restaurant.
Some of the traditional Philippines food cooked by my host grandma

I can feel that my host grandma is a little lonely sometimes. She raised up many kids, and most of them go to work in cities like Tagbilaran, Cebu or Dubai. Only her youngest daughter, Leah, lives with her, as well as Leah’s children. In this village, I can find that most of the residents that I can see are the elder or the children. Students leave for universities in big cities, and other adults leave to make a living. So, the workforce in the village is less and less. “People leave for making money when they grow up” said by the only man in his thirties at the party I went to with my host grandma yesterday, “And they will come back when they become old”.

The selfie of me, our host grandma, and my roommate

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A son of my host grandma, the one who work in Tagbilaran came back to this house on Sunday night, and took me and my roommate out for a night ride. We went out to the Jagna market, then came back. He said that he loves the quietness in the evening in Jagna. I think that I can understand his feeling. To him, Jagna is his hometown, a place that he can relax himself in, but not a place that he can stay forever. He needs to go to another strange but more prosperous city to make a living. How things are similar in my home town, which is the northern part of China. Actually, I think I am also one of these lonely people who leave home for a better future.
On the way back, they show me the Jagna people’s typical way of spending the Sunday night. Some of them will gather at the market for some snacks and chats, and the other will go to the Shots’ in bar to enjoy the performance of a local band. The elder will gather and chat with each other. The atmosphere is quite different than that in the weekdays. And I suddenly realize that, although life is not always easy for the grown-ups, we can still take some time to treat ourselves—just like the Sunday night at Jagna.

 

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