I wrote, he wrote, she wrote, we wrote, they wrote.
7 billions of people on earth. The most unpredictible "species". With different environments, background, passions, maners and toughts. As many different ways to see the world. I have mine and wanted to undertand theirs. Immerging in their world. And emerging too. I started writing things, then they started to write things. Not only things but also my memories. They wrote stuffs on my notebooks. They marked their little path on my way.
We link. We share. We live.
New Orleans, louisiana.
Las Vegas, NEVADA.
Death Valley, NEVADA.
From Nevada to Utah.
Salt Lake City, Utah.
Cu Chi, Vietnam.
In my life, I wanted to be at least involved in a humanitarian mission. My mother always used to help people everywhere in the world. Firstly because she has the instinct and the good heart for that, but also I guess because she knows what it is to live in difficulties and doesn't want people to be in this situation anymore. I inherited this spirit from her. I asked her if she knew any place I could do anything to help with my skills. I firstly thought I'd be in a orphanage, but finally, she told me about a center founded by a visually impaired woman, that has no subvention from the government and who tries to help other people as she can. I accepted this mission because I definitely thought that compared to the orphanage (which already has some help), I really can give a hand, here. So with my skills, I wanted to take pictures and to film the reality of the situation. To spread to other people this place and maybe to manage to help this center to properly grow in good conditions. But I knew that whatever I did there, I would to it with the heart and that I can't control the the "after"; that I would have done the best in my own small way, no matter what. So I went there.
Obviously, it was not easy at the beginning to be "integrated" into them. They don't know where I come from, except the fact I am the daughter of my mother, friend of the founder of the center. So I had to be very gentle and to adapt myself to their habits. Which is not difficult because I always used to be easy-going and adaptable in any situations. So I started to give some gifts to the children I brought from France of the other blind people, to show them I wasn't here to disturb them. Then I helped the women in the kitchen, then I started to talk and talk and talk with as many as people. After few days, people already liked my presence. Which was a sort of triumph to me. They told me they like me because I ate all what they cook whereas some visitors don't because they probably are scared of the sanitary conditions. But I knew I had to integrate all the habits and to honor the dishes they made with heart. I knew the risks but my mother told be in the bus on the way to there, to careful about some stuff, in case. So i gain the confidence of all the women of the center. There was also a woman with 3 children. She was one year younger than me. And she was very sweet. We talked a lot and I've learned that she came here to escape her violent husband. Another woman (the pregnant woman in pink in the next picture) was also in the same case, with a violent husband and now she is happy with a visually impaired man of the center and they are now both in love. Then I understood this place was not only a place for blind people but also for the people who need a place to feel in security. And in fact, it was more than a secure place. It was a peaceful and nice place I liked to stay. We have spent days and nights to talk together and to share stories. And we also laughed a lot. There was a wonderful place with wonderful people I really wanted to help. It started to be a physical place that has a place in my heart, now.
Although the bad the conditions of living, I noticed that they managed to keep their smile. But internally, I know that asian people don't usually show their feelings or hide them. So I had to keep my smile and not to express the fact I feel pain for them. My only aim here was to firstly relate the situation with my photo and video skills to the world, and also, there, to give them the smile or at least, to make them keep their wonderful smile. It was not easy to be as empathic as keeping my distance towards them. I had to also protect myself against the sadness I could feel because of my empathy. With time, I've learned. My father told me "you can't save the world.". That sentence keeps me from many deceptions. But I least, I wanted to do what I could.
Today, after posting several pictures of my mission and spreading the word, a couple of people want to create a real organisation to help this center. And I will take part of it because I am a witness. I am currently working on the video editing and meanwhile, I am still in contact with the people of the center. We skype every week. But who knows if something happens or anyone was very sick ? What could I do...
out of the comfort zone
What makes me feel alive is to be out of my comfort zone. I love traveling alone and backpackaging most of the time. This is how i tend to meet more locals and get crazy stories like "Yes Man". Cauz i say "yes" all the time to experience. Since they are not creepy or weird of course. Helping people in humanitarian missions. It never used a be a good time actually. Sometimes it was hard. Hard to face a new culture. Not easy to help people in need because I have empathy. I wasn't easy neither to start by zero again.
But being free had no price. I never knew how long will last my journey among these travels. I never took my flight before I aimed my goals. I needed to know things and don't wanted to leave until i had responses. You know something that leads you to know or to give sens to life. And the time to leave arriving, i used to feel nostalgic.
But hmmm...at the end of the day, i wouldn't say ephemeral life as easy all the time. Traveling is pleasure but not always as what people want to share on instagram. Traveling is facing reality.
From Siem Riep to Pnom Penh, CAMBODIA.
I've never had the occasion to visit the native country of my father. So for the first time of my life, I did it. And he was the best guide I could have. He used to be silent all these years since I was young and on the other hand, I didn't dare to ask him many questions because with respect, I don't wanted him to feel sad nor to think again about that. Then it was the first time he actually dare to tell about the story of Cambodia and the civile war that started in 1967. From Siem Riep to Phnom Penh, he explained me the different stories of important monuments, like the Monument of Independance and the Angkor temples. He told me about the religions, the habits, the food, the locals, the architectures and also has shown me where he lived when he was young. Here some notes, but mainly, I have recorded his words like my podcast project. Then I would never forget his words like many values he taught me since I was young.
solo road trip, Iceland.
Germany, Spain, Belgium, Hungary, Slovenia, England, Czech republic, Poland, Italy, Croatia, France, United States, Norway, Austria, Sweden, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Islande and others. 1000 people, so many cities and most of all, memories.