Big Smiles

via Photo Challenge: Smile Big smiles make the world a brighter place! I love this week’s Daily Post photo challenge, “Smile,” because big smiles make me happy.  They are contagious and bring me joy.  So, I hope to pass a little of that joy along to you!

Thursday Doors: Family Home

Inspired by Thursday Doors, hosted by Norm Frampton. For more interesting doors from all around the globe, check it out. ~~ Taking a recent trip from Hong Kong back to visit family in the US, I can’t seem to shake the feelings of nostalgia that have been awakened. Arriving in Ohio, I was pulled back…

Where is Home?

Over the years, I have learned that the true meaning of home is not based on a single dwelling place. Home is a feeling. Home for me is found in the backyard of my granny and grandad’s house, now my mom and dad’s, catching lightning bugs as a little girl with my brothers and sisters….

Fragrant Harbor

Tour Guide In response to The Daily Post weekly photo challenge “Tour Guide,” I wanted to take you on a tour of my neighborhood.  When people ask me, “Where are you from?”  I pause.  Then, I pause some more, shift my eyes up and to the right.  “Hmm, that’s complicated.” I grew up in the…

Love Heals

More years ago than I care to acknowledge, I stepped out of a taxi in front of an old dilapidated rusted gate. Looking through the gate toward a building sitting on a hill, I imagined being in an old-time horror film with bolts of lightning exploding across the sky.  The concrete block building, with mildew and…

Power of Love

Walking through the MTR train station yesterday, I spotted big red cards in the novelty shop.  Valentine’s Day was nearly upon us, a day when we express our love for each other.  It made me think.  There are many different forms of love; love of God, love of a spouse, love of family and friends,…

Goodbyes

This morning I’m sitting on the couch sipping my morning cup of coffee and feeling a little bit melancholy as I reflect on the last few weeks. The temperature here has dropped and it’s a bit cold so my warm brew tastes nice. Don’t get me wrong, the cold in Hong Kong is nothing like the…

Home

I must forewarn you, this post is a big ramble and a bit of rant in parts. The time arrived for our move from the Philippines back to Hong Kong. Our furniture, household items, and bits & bobs were given away. Our personal belongings, knick-knacks, and toiletries were stuffed into suitcases, which were so full…

The Spirit of Play

This past weekend, in partnership with friends who offered lots of help, we put on a Christmas party for over 200 children in the slum area we regularly visit.  It was a wonderful way to celebrate the season!  The party included fun games played on a concrete basketball court in the middle of this large…

Strength

She sat contentedly in a room filled with other ladies and young girls happily chatting while learning to cross-stitch.  Her 5-year-old daughter gently combed her hair.  For that small bit of time, she could relax.  She wore a bright smile despite the difficult life she had led.  Being slight of build and non-assuming, at 28…

Simple Things

The little girl’s dress was worn bare, thin and stained, held together by several safety pins.  Her skin was darker than most of the other children from working in the fields during the day alongside her family.  She wasn’t old enough to go to school. It was possible that she wouldn’t be given the chance…

Wise Words

In my corner of the world, the lives of many of the children we work with are extremely hard.  I wish it were not the case.  They fear not having enough to eat.  They worry about being able to attend school from one year to the next, with the worry they might have to quit…