It’s been over eight years since I first published a photo of the old “Compound Crew” back in my first blog, “The Rooster Crows at 4 am!” There’s been a mountain of changes since that first picture was published.
Meet the Crusty Old Expat’s Crew
The Crusty Old Expat’s Crew posing inside the living room of our new home
The Compound Crew
The old “Compound Crew,” seen in the next photo, consisted of 12 individuals all living on the same property, eight of them residing in a cramped four-room house. This picture was taken over eight years ago. Shaina, Sherwin, DenDen, Jorealle, and JalAmiel have now grown up. Can you spot them?
“The Compound Crew”
My wife’s sister, Alida, along with her husband, Joery, resided in a small nipa hut in the front yard of “The Compound” a few meters away from the entrance of the main house. Their offspring, DenDen, Jorealle, and JalAmiel also lived in the hut. Everyone has since moved to the main house.
Our twin nieces Michelle and April lived with us in the house, along with our niece Shaina and nephew Sherwin. The twins’ mother resides in Metro Manila with her husband, their step-father.
April and Michelle
Sherwin and Shaina are the offspring of Marjorie, my wife’s sister who has been working in Kuwait for over eight years now. Marjorie lived with us for a short before going to work overseas. Marjorie can be seen in the “Compound” photo shoot just left to my asawa.
Sherwin let his twin aunties “fix” his hair one day
No one knows the whereabouts of Sherwin and Shaina’s father who was reputed to be an alcoholic and drug addict. My wife wanted the two kids to live in Guimaras which had a much safer environment than the area of Manila they were living in. Sherwin was not even two years old when he moved to our island province.
Shaina recently received her Elementary Teacher’s Degree from Guimaras State College, GCS, and is preparing to take her Teacher’s Board Exams.
Shaina and her “auntie,” The Sainted Patient Wife
Sherwin has finished one year of college and is an IT major.
“Lola,” Grandma, is still at the “The Compound” along with Joery, Alida, and our two nieces, DenDen and JalAmiel, along with their brother Jorealle.
DenDen and JalAmiel are honor students at their respective schools. DenDen has one more year of high school to complete and will then attend college in either Guimaras or nearby Iloilo City. Brother Jorealle was “Athlete of the Year” at his school and will already attend high school this year. Jorealle is also a member of a dance group which recently won a school dance competition.
DenDen and her first beauty pageant
Joery is busy working on a second grade classroom for the Guimaras Joyful School. His wife Alida is the founder and director of the former pre-school which is now expanding to include First and Second Grade pupils.
Joery also has a salted egg route which covers the whole island of Guimaras. He usually sells around 3000 eggs a week. My brother-in-law is also a carpenter/welder and was one of the original workers on the crew that built our nipa hut and new home in the Philippines.
Our niece Michelle teaches at her auntie’s school. Her twin sister April lives in Iloilo and also recently graduated from college.
Why did I refer to my wife’s first home as “The Compound?” Not for security reasons; I gave that domicile the “Compound” moniker due to all of the people that lived there.
For a guy who lived by himself for decades before marrying my beautiful wife over 18 years ago, living with a clan in a Third World Country was difficult to adjust to.
However, I wasn’t asinine enough to refuse the lechon, roasted pig that my new wife’s family had prepared for me upon my first visit to the Philippines. I didn’t commit the infamous faux pas that Larry from “90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days” committed.
Larry screwed up his face while eating the roasted pig at his fiancé’s parents’ home and almost gagged.
Instead of my mother-in-law living with us, we have my wife’s father residing in a nipa hut directly behind our new home in the Philippines. Lolo, “Grandpa,” is 86 years old and has been with us for the past four years. He’s afflicted with Alzheimer’s and is cared for by our new helper, and nephew Sherwin and niece Shaina who still live with us.
The Healer and Lolo
We now have a total of only six people living on our property. However, that doesn’t include our eight puppies: Killer, Squeaky, Prince, Patchey, Bandit, Cinderella, Ella, and Priscilla.
There will no more puppies. I only wanted a Belgian Shepard. However, before we obtained “Killer,” my wife brought over a couple of mutts from a neighbor’s litter, Cinderella and Prince.
Cinderella and Prince have a common-law-marriage and produced a litter of five puppies. However, our local vet has performed the necessary surgery on all the pups, male and female, save Killer, to prevent any more litters. Eight is enough.
A “Killer” Christmas
The Sainted Patient Wife is busy taking care of the household, our pups, her garden, cutting firewood and other projects too numerous to mention.
My lovely asawa
“The Kano,” aka “The Crusty Old Expat,” occasionally writes new posts for this website and is still in charge of our swimming pool maintenance. Aside from that, I don’t have any formal duties and refrain from doing anything remotely resembling work.
The Crusty Old Expat posing as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle
“Meet the Crusty Old Expat’s Crew” has been almost eight years in the making. Hopefully, I’ll be around to do another update in another eight years. However, none of us have any guarantees on how long we walk this earth, do we?