Saturday, May 24, 2008

Those Hips Don't Lie

In two weeks, I will be either on my way onto the African soil, or already there. That is absolutely nuts.

I'm quite tired from the traveling, but wanted to jot down a few observations.

• Today the family went to the Polynesian tour and I learned that the Samoa people don't allow the women to cook. The men do everything and the women's only job is to make babies and care for them. I kind of love that idea. Kind of, because I would be bored out of my mind. But I do really love the fact that women aren't expect to cook.

• Women from Tahiti have hips that absolutely do not lie. Oh my. I didn't know it was humanly possible for hips to move at such speed! Impressive.

• This trip has put me so in touch with my past and also put other things in perspective. 80% of people in Hawaii is Asian. People are awfully diverse and speak lots of languages. The Chinese people alone have very complex dialects where one cannot understand the other unless you know the specific language. Our family friend whom we are staying with can conversationally speak 6 languages: English, Mandarin, Taiwanese, Cantonese, Hakka, and a bit of Japanese. Even our tour guide today spoke 5: Vietnamnese, Mandarin, Taiwanese, Cantonese, and another that I don't know the English equivalent (潮洲話). These people totally put my three to shame... It is the most amazing thing to sit at dinner where 5 languages are being thrown around at random.

• I have been exposed to lots of Buddhism teaching during this trip. This religious has always fascinated me since it's heavily practiced in the Taiwanese culture. The ways of life aren't being presented as, "God/Jesus/Buddha/whoever did this, therefore you should". The ideas are rather simple: be kind to others, don't sweat the small things, have a big heart and accept others. This is an area that I may spend time to discover when I have endless amount of free time in Africa.

I embody those million of emotions that my fellow group members who are departing on June 4th also face, but personally, I couldn't be in a better place, time, and state of mind to embark on this journey. I have put behind the anxious mind and accept that having food to eat, water to drink and air to breath is plenty lucky. I'm ready; my mind is, at least.

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