Project

Last week I went to the countryside to do some more research into a personal project i’m working on. The setting for the place was beautiful as the newly planted rice was growing and was a lush green. The birds and insects clamor away as the people of this nearly sustainable community work next to them. They grow all their own vegetables, rice and meat and work together to help build houses or to work on other community projects.

I met the director for the community, a jolly, stained and crooked tooth man. He has a kind heart and has worked as a doctor/director for the community for more than half of his life.

He told me about how they had come to receive two more rejections from the outside world. A pair of 9 year old twins who were born with a horrible skin disease called Lamellar ichthyosis or fish scale disease. Their parents had kept them hidden in a dark area of a dirt floor house for most of their lives. The parents must have thought that the skin disease would later go away, but at the age of nine they found themselves abandoning their children at the front gates of this community. The twins were accepted here and treated as normal. Probably one of the few places in the world they would ever feel like that. More than likely they will live out their lives in this community.

The people in this community have lived lives of persecution. Not for something they did or that they could control, but for how they look.

As I listened to the stories and poems of their lives, it immediately breaks down my emotional barrier protecting me and keeping me objective. Their lives were full of isolation, rejection, murder and suicidal tendencies. Only recently in the last 5 years have they felt happiness or that people might care for them.

I spent two days there gathering resources, listening to stories and observing the daily lives and needs of these people. They were so kind to me, a stranger, they are all open and willing to share their life.

On the second day I met up with the poetry club. They read some poems they had written. They were not harsh poems about the hardships they had endured in their life, but poems welcoming me as a friend. After they were finished telling me their poems I was expected to address them. I almost lost it and nearly cried. After 2 days of being consumed by this place, feeling its kindness towards me and seeing the living conditions and deformities of these people, it finally caught up to me. I was emotionally drained. As I’m sure others would be if they listened and saw the same things.

I will go back every week from now until I finish the project. I hope to share more stories later with you.

Thanks for reading.

My Neighborhood – The Lake

So a month ago I moved from my house to an apartment. The house was too big for me and the furniture and other things were breaking so I decided that it was time to move to a newer place.

I moved into this great new apartment (I will post photos later). The difference between this new neighborhood to my old neighborhood. More like how the majority of Vietnamese live in Hanoi. So I started to go out and document the area I lived in.

There is a park and a small lake near my house. It is polluted and not kept up with and kind of run down which to me gives it some character.

So here are some photos of that area. Later I will post some photos from the network of allies in which I wander through every day.

Thoughts and Progress

So I have been studying. Not a shock for those of you who know me. I seem to always be studying. I have found that many people in the industry in which I’m trying to break into are blogging like crazy. Sharing thoughts, ideas, links, projects and their lives. When I first thought about blogging I really didn’t think much of it. I would think, “yeah those people have too much free time.” But recently, one blog that I used to follow everyday died out of existence. For the last week I have honestly missed it. The author wasn’t ranting and raving about this or that, but sharing knowledge and helping with the progression of a new industry and connecting people who would have not been normally connected.

This is really what I think is great about blogging. It took the lost of a blog for me to realize the power of a blog.

For right now i’m going to try Blogger and then later move to a WordPress if it is needed.

So to my friends and colleagues I hope you enjoy my postings.