Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Weekend of Body Fluids

and introducing our household help

It’s been gross and has involved all three children. Let’s leave it at that. The title is catching, though, isn’t it?

I like to think that I’m a good employer. I really hope that I am. I have an amazing live-in helper, Lucy. She was referred from a friend at John’s work who hired her to help over the summer. When the summer was over, they didn’t need her anymore and we snatched her up.

I couldn’t have asked for a better match. She’s been here for over three months now and she’s definitely part of our family. My children love her, and she loves them. I feel completely comfortable leaving all three of them with her because I know that she’s more than competent at taking care of them. We were even comfortable leaving them with her while we hopped over to another island for our anniversary.

We have a driver, as well. We’re his first Embassy family, and he’s fitting in well. He got his clearance from the Embassy and now has a badge, which makes entering both compounds much quicker. Manila’s roads and the drivers are unpredictable and to put it bluntly, crazy. They’re drivable, but out of the three drivers in our family our driver does it best. We ran into horrible traffic one day on the way to a movie. We left with only 20 minutes until the start time (a very bad idea, normally), and we got there in time to see the whole movie. He can be pretty amazing. There’s only one tiny scratch on our car, and it’s from our gate, so we’ve as of yet had to deal with an accident. It’s so common that most people I know have been in at least one, sometimes two incidents. Most are small and usually involve a public transportation vehicle.

We have a part time helper that comes in three days a week. We hired her a couple of months ago, and she was told by her son she couldn’t work for us anymore. She came to help out during our anniversary trip and I asked if she could come work part time for us. Her son doesn’t know, and we’re not telling him! It’s nice when she’s here to help with the ironing and floors and bathrooms. The days she’s here are great for shopping or sending out Lucy to do something. She doesn’t live far, but she doesn’t like traveling in traffic, so she stays at our house two nights a week.

We have a pool guy that come MWF between 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. He’s only here for about an hour, but he cleans the pool and surrounding area and balances the chemicals. We had an issue with the pH balance and he was able to fix it right up. We were very happy to not have to call a “professional” service.

Our gardener comes on Mondays and sometimes he’ll come on other days to water the gardens or help out with other outdoors projects, like hanging Christmas lights. His other two employers are across the street and down on the corner, so he’s never very far. 

It’s a lot to manage, but Lucy is great at helping me out with that. The driver gets managed mostly by John because I feel that’s more appropriate. Though, we really don’t have many problems with him. Sometimes I can tell that I’ve texted him to pick me up from a shop or mall or the school mid-cigarette because he and the car smell like smoke. I very much dislike those moments but they’re not so common that I’ve had to say something. And I don’t feel like I can tell him that he’s not allowed to smoke the whole day he’s working.

I hope they think of me as a good employer. I try to be. I would be totally lost without Lucy. She’s absolutely precious to me and I’m so happy we have her in our family.


Mars said...

Hi, Sara. I found your blog through Carla (, and I'm happy your family is doing okay here in the Philippines. I've lived here my whole life and I like to think I'm pretty well-versed in the nice places here. :P If you need anything, I'd be happy to help out. :) I have a question, though. I hope you don't mind. Would you know how your driver got his job driving for an Embassy family? My boyfriend is an EMT and an ambulance driver, but he's finding it hard to get regular work because there aren't a lot of openings here and preference is given to those who are registered nurses. He's thinking of just applying to be a driver, but I'm more comfortable with him working for a family than for a delivery/courier company. I would really appreciate any help or info you can give on this. Thanks a lot. In any case, my offer of any help or insider knowledge of Manila still stands. :)

Sara said...


We found our driver through our yaya. She knew him before. All of our helpers are through word of mouth references. I wish I could be more helpful, and I'm sorry I took so long to respond.