Tag Archives: home

Home Sweet Home

Buying a home is a major life milestone. While we crossed “getting married” off our life achievements list this year, we are not quite to “buying a home” yet. However, moving into our new 3 bedroom 2 bath duplex rental felt like a milestone in itself.

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Our new duplex home in Wilmington, NC

After nearly 10 years of sharing a room or living out of a suitcase this new place feels huge! But, with the help of family and friends our living space has started to look like home.

Don’t venture upstairs though; we have an entire level that we haven’t bothered to use yet. Although, somehow John managed to fit our 11 ft paddleboard up the stairs and into the spare bedroom.

The bookcase in the corner was a homemade weekend project (clearly our home library has space to grow). Next on the list is building a bike rack for indoor storage.

With our long term future still uncertain, renting a home was the best decision. Furthermore, I was pleased to find that GOBankingRates.com’s annual survey of state-by-state costs of renting versus buying a home supported our decision: in North Carolina it is generally cheaper to rent than buy. To find more info about your own state click on their link below:

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GOBankingRates Owning vs. Renting

Belated Happy Halloween and Early Happy Thanksgiving from SJ and John Larkins!

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Because I live in the Philippines…

We farm seaweeds.
We farm seaweeds.
Chickens are sold whole, roadside.
Chickens are sold whole, roadside.
Monkeys ride on the backs of goats!
Monkeys ride on the backs of goats!
The cultural equivalent of Popeye's spinach: Balut, a fertilized chicken egg. Watch out for the beak and small feathers when eating!
The cultural equivalent of Popeye’s spinach: Balut, a fertilized chicken egg. Watch out for the beak and small feathers when eating!
Playgrounds are found on the beach.
Playgrounds are found on the beach.
Furniture is made from recycled tires.
Furniture is made from recycled tires.
Free time during Peace Corps training is spent playing underwater hockey. We used a rock for our puck and sawed our own sticks.
Free time during Peace Corps training is spent playing underwater hockey. We used a rock for our puck and sawed our own sticks.
Sunsets are amazing!
Sunsets are amazing!

Welcome to my home…

Here is a link to the movie I made with the help of my host family for our tagalog language class.

Every morning (except on Sundays – my one free day) I have language class from 8am until 12pm. It is a class of 4 students with my amazing Filipino language instructor Eva. Tagalog is the most widely spoken language here in the Philippines, however there are ~170 different dialects depending on where in the country you are located. The Peace Corps facilitates intensive Tagalog language classes for all volunteers here in the Philippines during initial training. In September when I find out my permanent site, I will also receive a one week crash course in whatever dialect is prominent in my new location. Tagalog itself has a strong Spanish influence (the Philippines was a Spanish colony for 300+ years) and some adopted English words as well with a unique Filipino spelling. For example…

Nurse –> Nars

Airplane –> Eroplano

Cuarto (Spanish for bedroom) –> Kuwarto

Here is the script from the movie link. See if you can guess what I am saying…

Ito ang aming sala. Pakipatay po ang ilaw, Tita Rose. Salamat po. Pasok kayo sa kwarto ko. Malambot ang kama ko. Mahalaga bentilador ko kasi mainit dito Pilipinas. Dito ko inilalagay ang mga damit ko. Dito ang aming kusina. Dito kami nagluluto at ito ang gripo. Dito kami kumakain nang masarap na pagkain at umiinom tubig. Weniel, nasaan ang CR?