2005.03.07 香港的飯店1901號房

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1 F  发表于 2008-6-19 17:28 | 只看该作者 | 倒序看帖 | 跳转到 »
3/7/05 12:20am Hotel in HK, room1901

I'd like to briefly share my trip to Hua Lien with all of you. Yeah, it was a few weeks ago but I didn't have much time to write about it till now.

For those of you who don't know where Hua Lien is it's located in the eastern part of Taiwan. It is home to probably some of the most beautiful sights on the island and has many natural wonders and landscapes to offer. I don't recall if I've ever been to Hua Lien but if I have it would have been when I was very young. The unfortunate thing is that during this trip I didn't have much time to venture out and actual visit the wonderful sights of the region. Maybe next time?

This trip to Hua Lien was something World Vision had set up a while ago and we were to travel together to visit some children and schools. It was a part of their ongoing campaign to raise awareness and funds for many under privileged children and their education. Many of these children are from low income, broken or single parent families and in need of financial and moral support. Many of these children and families from this region are native aborigines who originally inhabited the island of Taiwan and have a rich cultural heritage similar to Native American Indians and African aborigine tribes.

The key to this World Vision program was education and it's goal was to raise money in support of continuing the education and advancement of children in this region who would otherwise not have the financial means to seek higher education or any schooling at all. Unlike us, who often take a public education for granted these children often do not have the funds to purchase books, stationary, transportation to and from school or even lunch at school. Their needs are very basic but often cannot be met due to the lack of an income.

These children range from elementary school to some that were about to graduate from college. There was one young girl who was only about 12 years old but had to take care of her father, younger sister and brother while at the same time attend school and maintain her grades. The mother had left them at a young age so she had to learn how to cook and clean for the entire family. I visited the kitchen where she cooked every night's dinner and was surprised to see that her height was barely above the wok and stove. It's difficult to imagine a girl of only 12 years old having to hold something as dangerous and heavy as a wok. However, when we visited her she greeted us with a beautiful smile that simply lit up the room and all of our hearts as well. She was shy when I asked her to sit next to me so we could talk but when she opened up she was so sweet and adorable. When I asked her if she felt it was hard work to take care of everybody and be like a "mother" she immediately smiled sweetly and said, "No!" That really touched all of us and made us realized how lucky we all were when we were that age.

The problem, however, is these children often don't have the "luxury" of going to school and spending a lot of time on their studies. They are either taking care of their families, searching for employment or simply do not have the funds to facilitate attending school. Henceforth, there emerges a vicious cycle because when they do not have the means of an education or advancement in school their chances of finding a decent job or employment in the future becomes slimmer. Even if they do find a job it is perhaps low paying or not stable enough to sustain their families. And this is not considering the psychological factors such as self-confidence and social awareness that school can sometimes provide a child during his or her developmental stage.

This visit has really showed me that what we often take for granted are things these under privileged children and families desperate need and should have. Something as basic as health care is just one of the things these families don't have. Or perhaps they may have basic health care but since many of them live in remote areas they may not have the transportation budget to actually travel to the hospital and doctor. When was the last time you had to worry about not having enough money to take a taxi or bus to see the doctor?

One thing that saddens me is when I ask a child what his or her dream is and they have nothing to say. Perhaps they do have dreams but they are afraid of sharing them because they may feel they have no "right" to dream. Everybody has the right and need to dream because that is what makes us different than other living creatures on this planet. Dreams are what often make us soar higher liberating us from our chains. However, many of these lovely children when asked aren't exactly sure what their dreams are. One young man who was about to graduate from high school and had good grades told me that he wanted to apply to a university in Taipei city to study electrical engineering. I was elated to hear him say that because when he told me what his goal was his eyes immediately lit up and I saw his future and success within his own grasp. Dreams are not about money nor do you need money to dream. Dreams are free but they require hard work, passion and love. An education may be a dream to many of these children or perhaps a good education may serve as a means through which to achieve a dream. Or perhaps, an education may open up a world in which one can find one's dream.

Though these children and families were poor monetarily they were, however, very wealthy in their spirits. Every one of them showed us their most brilliant and innocent smiles which were not tainted or faded by their predicament and lot in life. The children of the 阿美族 and 布農族 entertained us with their songs and dance which made all of us smile and laugh in our hearts. I even sang and danced with them which was truly delightful as I felt like I was their big brother. These are the children we love. These are the important times of our lives. These little hearts are the hearts and minds of the future. Forget the entertainment, the gossip, the politics and the international headlines just for one moment and look into the eyes of these children. They need us and we need them too. They show us what life is really about. It's about courage, sacrifice and, above all, unselfish love.












on my way to see my friends who lived a couple blocks away from me as i walked through the subway