I asked her if she wanted to follow me inside to take photos and talk to the people and she said no. The lure of many kids to play with was much too strong and despite usually being weary of strangers and always clinging to me in times of uncertainty, for some reason T1 did not suffer from any separation fear this time round. Amazing. It must’ve been the air. Maybe the smiles. Maybe the curiosity!
So it started out with football…..
And I think she was the goalkeeper.
After almost an hour indoors, I came out to find her interacting with the people of Myanmar. Strangely too, I had not asked anyone to watch over her when I went indoors. Usually, I am paranoid like that, always in fear that my child would go missing. Anyway, I was impressed. What were they talking about? How were they communicating?
I took these photos with a zoom lens so she didn’t know I was around. I wanted to observe quietly and I really felt quite blessed doing just that.
Later, it was communicating with the little ones. Isn’t that a great thing about kids? They do not need to know each others language yet they can somehow get their thoughts and ideas across. They can just play………..
As I walked closer, the crowd of boys surrounded her and some ‘toys’ were given to her.
She was happy! City girl had never played a traditional top before!
It took real skill to spin a traditional top, OK? Do you know how to spin a traditional top? I don’t! And believe you me, it’s not as easy as it looks! It takes practice!! And look at them smiling at her…..
With sheer determination though, she got better and better at spinning it and finally it was time to go. They gave her those 2 plastic eggs which had tiny dinosaurs inside, and off we climbed into our truck.
Most vehicles in Yangon have no air-conditioning so we had a good laugh when our truck driver drove with one hand and fanned himself with the other. I know, not very funny as our lives were at stake! But funny all the same…….
Suddenly, there were screams and banging on the truck as we pulled away from the home and when the truck stopped, the little girl who gave T1 those plastic eggs? She gave the traditional top to her as well. At that moment, I think a few of us in the truck fought to hide our tears. Me included. Damn.
They have so little. Yet they are so giving. Every time I think of that moment, my eyes well up. I’m so bloody emotional.
For more stories on our journey with the Children of Myanmar:-