May 22. Paper mash.

The accident could have been avoided. It was my idea to do paper maché, and I feel a little bit guilty about it. The kids gather at the porch as usual and when we let them storming in they are enthousiastic as always. Yeon prepares a bowl of glue and we start dipping little pieces of paper into it. We are going to make little monsters or dragons – the kids’ fantasy has free reign in this domain. They glue and paste and fumble to their hearts’ content when suddenly our hostess Leila slips and falls headlong on the floor. It takes a while before I realize what happened; then there is ice and we arrange to go to the hospital asap. The nearest medical service is provided in Luang Namtha, almost two hours by bus, and if it turns out to be broken, she’d have to travel to Bangkok to have it casted. Meanwhile, the children have made an enormous mess of the paper that sticks to every other stalk of grass. We slowly clean it up and tell the children to get back for the night event: a movie.

At night, we show the movie Ice Age again (the perfect children’s movie, enjoyed through Charity Travel by hundreds of kids in Palestine, Kenya, Mozambique, India, Cambodia), projecting it on the ceiling with our little gadget. The kids lie on the floor watching and giggling – they love it. I realize that Bryan and Leila are doing good work here supporting these children with scholarships and a possibly much brighter future. After the movie the kids go home and I crawl under the mosquitonet too.

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Kamiel Choi

Dutch philosopher and poet, sometimes sharing thoughts on the internet.

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