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Chapter 18 Forsake

Chapter 18 Forsake

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Published by Henry Taft Miller

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Published by: Henry Taft Miller on Feb 18, 2010
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02/18/2010

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18
Shred Of Hope
The war is over as they say, but we still have to think as though war is still upon us with nothing to be found to eat around this area. Itseems everyone has converged on this side of the river, and the place iscompletely clean. Except now and again we find something that’smerely a snack. We’re in a desperate condition to survive--have to finda better place.
 I hope the next place we reach, we’ll be able to find enough food to share. We don’t know at this point.
>We’ve moved further south into the first village we find. It’s knownas Ilocos Norte and touches its twin village of Ilocos Sur. The two wereevidently named after the large far west coastal provinces of the samenames.Here I’m happy to find some more friends I knew back in SantaCruz.They are Tuto and his wife, Carmelita. Lila too, a woman I onceknew.They know some people who own a farm a short distance away that
 
might let us pound some rice in exchange for a little bit for ourselves.So now we’re on our way to the house where Tuto said to go.We meet the people, Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Lopez. Fortunately,they didn’t have to stay away from home too long. They were warned of the Japanese coming through. Once the enemy went on to Cabatuen,this family was able to return to their village.I understand they didn’t have as much difficulty as we did.We ask them if they’re hiring anyone to work for them, and the ladysays she could use someone to pound some rice. If we’re willing, she’ll pay us one cup of rice for every five cups we pound.We tell them we’ll do it since we don’t have any other way to getsupplies at this point. So we start work right away and pound rice allday.When we’re done, we’re pleased to see we earned a whole gallon of grain for ourselves. It’s enough to supply us for a while.Mrs. Lopez even gives us some eggplants along with anpolla, whichthey also grow.We’re glad to have that to cook with our rice.127They tell us we can pick beans for them also, and after we’refinished with that job, we can help them pick the ears of corn out in the
 
field. The corn is ready to be harvested and piled in the shed for storage.It looks as if we’ll have a few things to do around here. We justthank God for our friends from Santa Cruz that know these people.Apparently Mr. Lopez generously allowed Tuto and Carmelita to plant crops for themselves here on a portion of his land. They have cornand beans growing, among other things. Since the owner lets them borrow his carabao to plow the field, they in turn receive one of everyfour gallons of rice they harvest.
 At least they get something to feed their family.
These people are very nice. They tell us they understand exactlywhat we’re going through. They lost some family, too, during thewartime. They don’t mention how, but they did lose some loved ones.At least they’re sympathetic and willing to keep us here on their place.They lead us to a small, empty chicken house that’s no longer inuse. They say they need to build another with more room, so we can usethis one to stay in.We’re grateful to them and clean it all up for the three of us to livein.After we scrub it down and all, there isn’t a smell or trace of old,dried chicken manure. The place has long been vacant, so we’re able to

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