A Story from Cambodia

People from Wonderland

 

I raise up my voice – not so I can shout, but so those without a voice can be heard… we cannot succeed when half of us are held back.

Malala.

Happy Women’s day!

Not the 8th of March anymore but each day is worth to celebrate women’s rights and take actions, small or big, for gender equality. Even though I grew up in a country relatively privileged, there is always someone (e.g. strangers, fashion brands, or even relatives)  that will manage to remember me that gender equality is far from being achieved.

So I know it’s easy to come up with a quote about women’s empowerment on a blog but it is a cause that matters to me and in my daily life, I do my best to avoid comments or attitudes that reinforce stereotypes.

For the occasion, I really wanted to share a personal story that makes me smile each time I think of it. It happened in 2014 during a school break while in Cambodia.

So back to 2014

We were studying in Bangkok and had a couple of weeks off. So we decided to travel to Vietnam and Cambodia with a group of friends (guys, not sure if you are reading my blog but cheers to the #groupof10people).  

I forgot the details but somehow during the journey, our group got fragmented since we did not arrive all together in Siem Reap. Anyway, it was the morning and we were waiting at the bus station a couple of extra friends to meet us.

But guess what…

One of them forgot his bag inside the bus which disappeared immediately. Obviously, you are missing out all the fun if the bag does not contain anything important. Beside a camera, we had a missing passport with a precious student visa inside. Our friend Simone was very very (VERY) upset (Ciao Simone! Get back to me if needed :). And Elisa decided to take over the problem. She said ‘she would think about a solution to get the passport back’ and when she says she is going to do something she does.

Not so sure what happened next (side story: I had fever) but Elisa shared the phone number from our hostel with a couple of tuk-tuk drivers in the street in case ‘ anyone would have seen something or could help’.

Elisa ended up receiving a call from  ‘a friend who might help’ and they arranged a meeting the afternoon itself to discuss more.

And I really like the next memory I have from this: Elisa and Simone leaving the hostel in a tiny tuk-tuk that would bring them somewhere in the suburbs of Siem Reap.

The next thing I knew is they were back a couple of hours later with the passport, less cash, and a story about negotiating with a local mafia. I will always remember HOW BAD ASS my friends sounded hahaha.

Thank you Elisa! Forever in my mind!

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A story from Nepal

People from Wonderland

I’m now settled down in Melbourne and this city is definitely awesome. But sometimes I miss Nepal and the energetic messiness of the country. I spent two months there to volunteer and trek in the Himalayas. Today, I want to share a story about Nuwakot district. This photo is an highlight from my time in Nepal.

We all met Aama and I think she touched everyone, without exception.  Aama means “grandmother” and she really is. As you know the violent earthquake that shaked the country in 2015 destroyed an enormous amount of houses and schools. Aama never had the chance to get an education and spontaneously decided to donate her land to an NGO rebuilding schools. She would always come to the school site to help and give us water. Aama doesn’t own much but will largely contribute to the education of hundred children. Dhanyabad.

Do not hesitate to contact me if you need any information about volunteering in Nepal. I will be happy to share them with you and you might even meet Aama !