Dancing with the Dead

For the children who live in the community adjacent to the Cagayan De Oro city cemetery, the graveyard serves as an immense playground where the kids play, fight, and relax. I spent one evening there observing the kids’ graveyard antics. Even though my time with them was so short I feel like I learned a lot about who they are and the way that they live.

I recently heard from Kristen’s Grandma that there was a flood in the Philippines where we were staying. Their house (the house we stayed in while we were in Cagayan) was full of water up to the knees and it’s a mile inland. The streets were all water and most of the families living near the ocean without western style houses lost their homes to the flood. This surely includes the houses of the kids that were cleaning the river in my last post. Send them good thoughts.

Cagayan 2

So when I left off I was under a little hut in the middle of a storm. The next day the same thing happened. We took refuge in a fishing village where a river emptied out into the ocean. After the rain stopped a bunch of kids started collecting floating debris that had been washed into the river during the storm. The idea was to prevent it from going out into the ocean and messing up the fishing nets. Sometimes they swam from shore and sometimes they jumped off of the rope bridge that hung above the river.

After a while a small hut came floating down and the kids just attacked it.

The wood was stacked to be burned later.

Within the neighborhood where I was staying there was a small Muslim community but it is quite segregated and the Catholics and Muslims don’t pay much attention to each other.