20 Dec 2013, Posted by silentimages in Asia, Blog

I felt ______.

Blank. Absolutely blank.

I was in Tacloban city two weeks after Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippines, looking at this world where entire neighborhoods have been completely flatten, where mountains of coconut trees are uprooted, where cleaning the streets of rubble inevitably disturbs a tragic grave… the reality was so overwhelming my heart decided being blank was just the easier option.

Then I looked behind and realized I had a trail of kids following me. They smiled, gave me high-fives, dominated me in games of tag (where I had a real disadvantage from age and 20 pounds of cameras weighing me down), then proceeded to follow me again.

I met their parents and neighbors on the streets because there were no houses to meet in anymore. In many of the towns I went to up to 97% of the homes were completely destroyed. Suddenly I was blank again, but this time is from the overwhelming joy and love these people were showing.

I kept asking people, “Why are you always smiling?” To which many of them answered, “It keeps me young, can’t you tell?” New beauty tactic. Totally works!

Keep smiling,

~ Lydia


Click here to watch a video about the work done in the Philippines. 



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