a child like you and me
I found these photos today while cleaning up an old flash drive. Once upon a time, when I was fresh out of college and had big dreams to change the world, I worked as a therapist in a shelter for abandoned and street children in the Philippines. I worked there for about a year before I was accepted and went to grad school in Southern California. Seven years later, here I am.
Just thinking about those days makes my heart ache a little. It was more like volunteer work really, because we only got a monthly stipend that was not even enough to cover my basic expenses. Of course, I didn't know what the heck I was doing and there were times when I'd come home sobbing after hearing stories about a child's difficult life in the streets, but for the most part, we were happy. It was a very simple life.
I still wonder about those kids. How are they now, what have they become, are they out of the streets? And sometimes, I still wonder about the girl that I once was, the girl who worked with those kids. A couple of days ago, I was so exhausted that I had to lie down and close my eyes for 10 minutes (working with children and adults who act like children does that to you), I started to question why I'm still doing what I'm doing. I still don't know and I suspect that it will be a long process of introspection. But I am grateful for these photos, for the gift of remembering. Its a good place to start.
:: It was my first time meeting little boy in photo #1. He was very shy at first but eventually he introduced me to his siblings in photo #2. They were all part of our feeding program.
:: Boys in photo #3 lived in the streets in Mactan Island. I didn't work with them but they were so excited to have their photo taken and so jumpy I had to take it couple of times because all of them came out blurry, except for this one.
Have a wonderful weekend, my friends. xo