It's a pity sometimes that my angels (that's what I call the sisters Janice, Jo-an, adn Joylyn) have to be trained almost from scratch. True, they have an advanced survival skill that far outmatches mine, they can go through the day on empty stomachs, and they are programmed to serve and honor you with their lives.
I've previously written about how they came into my life. Now, they are sort of family to me and my daughter.
As they are adjusting to our lifestyle level, I realized that they still have so much to learn. While they were obviously taught how to be obedient, respectful, thankful, polite, and honest (though there are times when they would try to get away with flimsy lying an educated person can easily find out), they still lack social graces and higher hygiene.
Having lived with us for several months already, they have learned how to hold their drinking glass properly and to eat with a spoon and a fork (i noticed they were more comfortable eating with their bare hands or with just spoons as they were used to). They have learned to wash their hands and pray before meals.
I tried to hide my shock and dismay when, having returned from a week of helping their mother and siblings build a new house after the old one was demolished, they proudly reported that the people back home noticed a few changes in their manners and way of doing things. For example, washing hands before eating.
I realized their younger siblings were not trained in this simple rule of hygiene doctors have been preaching. "Maghugas ng kamay bago kumain (Wash hands before eating)." So they echoed the same principle to the younger brood. Reacting to this wide-eyed, I painted a simple but usual scenario: little brother after moving his bowels washes off with his hand, sometimes or more often without soap. He wipes dry leaving traces of fecal matter on his fingers and proceeds to play with his sisters. The others pick their noses, wipe their eyes, scratch their behinds, a lively exchange of bacteria thrives. Then, when all these elements dry up on their hands, they rush to the dinner table (or floor) to eat with the same unwashed hands.
Then, if they later complain of an upset stomach or loose bowel movement, they blame it on unseen spirits and offer a black chicken and a black pig to appease the offended beings. And I ask them if they have seen the more progressive people do such rituals in their backyards.
Oh, how they still have a lot to learn. And unlearn.