… and this is what I’ve been doing while I was gone from blogging.
Preparing for Operation Smile Cambodia’s international mission and the official opening of the Smile Center. It’s no easy work, I tell you that. However, seeing 109 kids receiving free reconstructive surgery and spending my birthday with them is just another reason to celebrate. I am very proud to be associated with OpSmile Cambodia’s work. Thank you for the opportunity of a lifetime.
Hindi ako mahilig sa bag at ang tanging bag na gamit ko ay backpack. Pero itong borloloy na ito ay obsessed na obsessed sa bag:
Siya ay ang pamangkin kong si Beebop. Two years old pa lang siya nung kunan ko ito last year, at mahilig nang pumorma. Kita niyo naman? Marunong na siyang pumili ng kanyang damit, sapatos at mga accessories, lalong-lalo na ng bag. Ayaw lumabas ng bahay ng wala ang kanyang kikay-bag na puno ng mga abubot niya. Kakata-kyut, ano?
Isa sa mga benepisyo ng aking trabaho ay ang oportunidad na makapag-byahe di lamang sa loob ng Cambodia kundi pati na rin sa iba’t-ibang bansa sa Asya. Bagay na ikinasaya ko dahil pangarap ko talagang makapag-ikot sa iba’t-ibang bansa, kung hindi man sa buong mundo. Saan pa ako magsisimula kundi dito na rin sa atin sa Asya. Sa pagba-byahe ko ay marami na rin akong nakilalang mga taong kahit na iba ang kaanyuan at kinagisnan sa ating mga Pinoy ay katulad din natin sila na gustong mamuhay ng malaya, masaya, at payapa; na may mga pangarap na mapaganda ang kanilang mga buhay at kinabukasan. Ilan sa mga taong nakasalumuha ko, na nagkataong nakasuot ng kulay kahel, ay ang mga sumusunod:
SJ.Wickremaratne. Ang 12-taong gulang na batang monk sa Kandy, Sri Lanka. Mahiyain ngunit matalinong bata. Dala ng kahirapan, minabuti ng kanyang magulang na ipasok siya sa monasteryo upang makapag-aral.
Shofiya Begum. Batang babaeng pala-kaibigan, ang pamilya niya ay nawalan ng bahay at ari-arian dahil sa matinding pagbaha sa Buriganga River, Bangladesh.
Venerable Pring Phoeun. Ang makulit pero super-bait na head monk sa Wat Kampong Tralach sa Kep. Palaging may naghihintay na pagkain sa amin kapag kami’y bumibisita sa kanya. Mahilig magbutingting ng kung ano-ano, lalo na ng aming camera.
This is my niece Beebop, my younger brother’s first-born. My mother observed that she’s inherited characteristics from all of us. She is such a Papa’s girl that everywhere her Papa went, she was sure to go. This is Beebop’s recent photo, taken when she watched her father compete in the Skim-board competition in Roxas City. This appeared many weeks ago in the weekly Wordless Wednesday photo meme, but I am posting it here again because this is one of my favorite photos of her *lol*. Don’t you just love the look on her face?
After having met me in person for the first time this year, she asked her father to send me a picture of her (below, right; also posted in Wordless Wednesday) so that, according to her, I won’t forget her face; with it came a note that says:
A female Khmer de-miner with her partner, an Alsatian sniffer-dog. She’s one of the many female members of the Cambodian de-mining team that participated in last Sunday’s 55th anniversary celebration of Cambodia’s Independence from France. To me, she represents the modern-day Khmer woman. Brave, independent, hard-working and yet remaining true and respectful to the ideals of being a Cambodian.
Gulp War of the borloloys! In the photo are my nephew Joshua (middle) and nieces Beebop (left) and Chappi (right), about to have their siesta.
Borloloy is a term I borrowed from fellow blogger Toe and is used endearingly to refer to nephews and nieces. Our family is now growing in numbers, no doubt about it. Four years ago, Joshua was the center of attention being the first apo (grandchild) in the family. Two years after that, Beebop was born, and one year later, Chappi followed. Chappi’s birth somehow led everyone’s attention on me and my husband. The oldies in the family – composed of our uncles and aunts whose mission in life is to find a match to their single nephews and nieces and encourage procreation; you know, Noah’s ark and all- have stopped asking me when will I get married, as I already have,thanks very much. Instead they are now asking when will the husband and I are going to produce ankle-biters.
My entry for the Tuesday-Wednesday edition. Taken in Dhaka, Bangladesh in December, 2002. After getting off a bus, I chanced upon this pretty girl, roaming around with this mat on her head. Through my interpreter, I learned that this girl is one of the many displaced people in Bangladesh. She used to live along the Buriganga river and constant floodings swept away her family’s house and livelihood. This drove them to the capital of Dhaka where they have no permanent shelter and no food to eat. She earns money picking garbages and, sometimes, begging, too.