Friday, May 30, 2008

reflection and voices

reflection, originally uploaded by c_p_lew.

We had a wild trip to get out to Ta-Oi District but after all the activity of the day, requiring that I keep up a constant stream of explanation for our guests, I got a chance to slip away and listen to my own voice. By being quiet and still for a little while, I found the voice in my heart.

Often when people come out to a remote area like this, they're at first charmed by the natural beauty and they talk about the simplicity of life. Well, it's true but spend a few days and things don't seem so perfect. People tell the same stories over and over again and the youth complain about no jobs, no action and no fun. They turn their backs on the scenery and watch satellite TV. And then a visitor might want to hate it.

Bouncing back and forth between these two extremes, one arrives at the middle. Life is changing but people are still in poverty. One of our trainers explained about the number of children he saw with malnutrition. But people persevere - they struggle to make their lives better for their children. They maintain the customs and stories that give that struggle a meaning.

I thought about that, and more as I watch the shadow in the water, and the man being tugged along behind it. There are no easy answers in the world, only the effort to make sense of the questions.

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