Saturday, August 15, 2009


This is my landlady, and dearest friend in Besao. Her name is Cresencia Dongalen , but I call her Auntie. She is a retired school teacher and widow. The house that we live in belonged to her parents and is where she grew up. The house has a rich history. Many of her family members were born in that house, including her! Also, it was occupied by Japanese soldiers during World War II. Auntie was just a child, but she remembers the day that her family left in the middle of the night and climbed through the mountains to find safety and escape from the Japanese. She is a great storyteller. We laugh and tell stories while we eat dinner together on most nights. We have truly been enjoying each other's company.
-Melanie West Goes...Auntie

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