Hello friends–I am back from touring 8 countries in the Far East. Getting trapped by the landslides that had downtown Hong Kong under water the day we left was pretty exhausting. Fortunately, they held the flight (and 150 others) for a few hours due to the fact that lots of the crew and passengers were missing. Had we not been delayed almost an hour due to bureaucratic red tape getting off our ship, we probably would have been in one of the taxis floating down the harbor.
Instead, thanks to a lot of good karma, we were just in a taxi sitting on the freeway for almost 3 hours (a futile taxi ride that eventually dumped us in the subway and cost $650 Hong Kong Ding Dongs, which is what I called their money after giving up on keeping track of all the currencies we used). We miraculously got home to Utah right on time.
I have to confess that thinking and studying about how to achieve ideal nutrition for my family and yours seemed indulgent and petty in the face of what I saw. Whole families in the Phillipines living on top of flattened cardboard boxes in the median of the road. Others living in corrugated metal shacks. Very young boys out in the ocean next to our ship on dilapidated boats fishing, just for their families to be able to eat. The Sultan of Brunei living in obscene opulence while his people go without. A young couple who chased our bus for 2 hours hoping to sell us a t-shirt, just because I smiled at them as they sped along next to us holding up the shirts and signaling the price.
And what broke my heart in two pieces: crippled and blind people begging in the streets in Vietnam. They told us not to hand out money or we’d get mobbed, but HOW CAN YOU NOT? I cried every time I saw one of them. Where is the fairness in the world that some of us get to overindulge on 8-course meals on a cruise ship, while others are in a third-world country, without arms and legs, begging for spare change?
I came home with renewed commitment to do more with my energy and financial means to help people in these circumstances. Tomorrow about how to live low on the food chain, even on a cruise ship. Consuming fewer resources helps everyone.