Having a helper is very much the cultural thing to do...
One of them(Ate Tata) comes most Mondays, Wednesdays, & Fridays. And the other(Ate Bebe) comes Monday through Friday. Oh, and sometimes...we have a guy(Kuya Rayn) that comes to work on our yard.
When we were new in the country & lived in Manila...I started out with one helper just 3 or 4 days a week...starting @ around 8 AM and working until 4 PM. Honestly, it was very hard for me...I don't like having someone in my house ALL the time...I tend to be a more private person. I like things done a particular way...Brian would call me ANAL. :) I LOVE to cook...and I know I'm weird...but folding laundry totally relaxes me. But, we had a pretty small apartment...and I could get away with not having a helper there all the time.
When we moved to Mindanao and EVENTUALLY(6 months later) found a house...It ended up being a decent size house. It has 5 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms(well, sort of...but more on that another time)...it also has a large basement, and a good size yard. It's really quite a bit to keep up...not to mention...for some reason things seem to get dirtier here quicker...can someone explain this to me...the road in front of my house is paved...my street is busy...but not horribly so. Well, on second thought...it might have something to do with all the creatures that love to share our house. See I is for Insect.
|Kuya Rayn...he cuts our grass and does other work around the yard.|
Honestly...I could go on and on... This is what life is like here...and that's just buying our food. Once I get it home...I have to scrub everything...and then, chop it all up.(I miss those microwave ready veggies!) If it's pork...I have to divide it up into ziplocs, etc. Thankfully, we can buy good loaf bread here...so, I don't have to make that...but if we want tortillas, bagels, donuts, pretzels, etc... I have to make ALL of it. Which I love to do...it just takes a ton of time.
Anyway...back to my katabang(x2). I am sooo very thankful for them! Having them help us clean, cook, etc...frees us up to take care of our FANTASTIC 4 and for us to do language study. We do ALL the care of our kiddos...and that's a full-time job. :) On top of that...Brian is required to do 8 hours of language study a day and I am required 6.
|Wendel w/ Ate Tata & Ate Bebe...they're pretty good about trying my American weird food. :)|
Ate Tata has worked for missionaries for quite a while...so, that is a massive help. I didn't really have to train her...just tell her a few of my preferences. And she did all the training of Ate Bebe for me.
|Ate Bebe getting ready to tackle the dishes|
|Lunch very often looks like this.|
Honestly, a book could be written about having a helper...I'll just stop here though.
Hope that gives you more of an idea what our life is like with a Katabang/Katulong. If you have any questions about having a helper...Please feel free to ask.