Monthly Archives: February 2012

Lovely ones at Sapa

 

i changed. i’m an avid iphone user who can’t live without it right now. maybe i should recede to where i used to belong. i will try, for the sake of the children in the world (or maybe it’s just to console myself).

then it came the problem, that some friends question me. peace could mean much more than just helping children in developing country and that people around us need our care and that contribute to peace as well. stubborn or what you can say, i still hold on to my stand. i remember once in peace education class, we were to define what peace meant to us, mine is still what it is, that justice n equality for everybody. returning to singapore, i’m surprised by the significant increase in foreigners on our soil, but even more disgusted by our attitudes towards them. i feel for them, perhaps I could do something for them. However, here I am, stagnant, I don’t know where to start and has no energy suddenly. I don’t know what happened to the why seek for challenges in adventure sports when there’s social challenges out there waiting for us. I cant give up my interest I know, maybe I can direct this passion for a cause such as doing all races for charities.

the willful me went to Vietnam end of 2011, thinking just to travel and have fun. my trip was unprepared and it was heaps of fun, but at certain points, I was ashamed that I did not understand the background of the people I will meet beforehand. At least, it served as a wakeup call and I should really make my trip this year more meaningful. Instead of just meeting the locals, I should be giving what I am able to.

the first man I met was Hung, and I actually forgot to take a picture of him. he took me for free tours around sapa, very gracious of him. we have long talks while trekking to villages. there, i know him, as of someone who really abhored poverty and is 110% determined not to go back to where he used to belong. He is a tribal boy who came to sapa to wash dishes in the restaurant and learnt to speak english by himself. i’m so proud of what he is doing now already, as a freelance tourguides bringing tourists and introducing the beautiful land. however, he has even bigger dreams, to own a hotel by himself so he can bring more money to his family. stopping at houses in the village, he emphsized non stop how sad it is that the kids are sleeping on such cold houses without pants and so on. i sincerely think i felt him, however, being much westernized after meeting the american or austrlaian tourists, he is inclined towrads development. he made me felt silly to reject progress. there, someone working so hard to get themselves out of poverty and I, on the other hand, just criticized government on how they destroy traditions and cultures. now, is a full tummy or preserving a tradition more important?

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there are handful of such girls walking around the town getting tourist to buy some souvenirs ffrom them. unlike the adults, they dont smile or be friendly. they merely stretched our their hands and say ‘buy me buy me’. this girl is still pretty well-clothed for the weather, unlike those left at home only walking around with two layers, and mucus all over the face. they walked to the town for hours from their house and start working, thats how their childhood is spent, i hardly see them smile.

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see, this is much talking and playing with her before she broke a smile. i hope buying something from her makes her a lil happier that day too.

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saw this lil boy while chilling with coffee at my usual hideout in sapa. he gobble down all my leftovers!!

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i don’t know what to offer him after he looking at me so hungrily and i realized i had some mandarins with me. i swear he finished the mandarin in a minute, including the peeling! he ate them like he nv have them for ages.

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I dont want to jump to conclusion why he had a hole on his pants, i believe most of us does when we were younger. but with that weather, i hope i could have given him another pants, so he wont be cold the night.

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did house visiting and again so embsrrassed that i went there EMPTY-HANDED. i could have just gotten some snacks for these cuties. and i taught them jump shots which they love it !!! its was one of the most tiring session, we were jumping nearly an hour. it came to me because they were all so cold (yes, inside the house), and i thought we should be moving instead of just sitting around.

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notice the mucus around the nose. but i knew they were happy, just like that.

it still amused me how children can touch me such a way, i wish i can return to give them more.

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