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Posts Tagged ‘asia’

Some Indonesian TLC

I wish I had more time in Indonesia. A month would be a good start! It’s such a special place.

After two days in Jakarta, I was off to Surabaya, Indonesia’s second largest city. I found it rather unremarkable- grimy, crowded and lacking in any distinct character.

Though I have to admit, being incredibly sick when I reached there had my patience and tolerance at an all time low. For two weeks, I had not been able to shake off a cold and fever. I was keeping myself going on Tylenol and a lot of green tea.

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Midnight. And I’m in Malaysia!

I kept saying to myself over and over again, as I struggled to find my hostel. I’d landed two hours earlier and the Kuala Lumpur international Airport is very far from the city… like it’s far enough to be another city actually! So with one eye on the street and one on the ticking taxi-meter, I got my first taste of KL.

I usually ensure that I arrive in a new city earlier in the day, but this time around, I didn’t have a choice. But even this late at night, on a Tuesday night to be precise, the streets were teaming with tourists and locals. The only thing I was worried about was the fare racing up, up and away!
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Hindustan Times Article: 25th July 2010

mobility malaysia
Do check out my column in Hindustan Times today about Anthony Arokia in Kuala Lumpur, President and Founding Member of Mobiliti Malaysia, a door to door transport service for people with disabilities.

Also, do you know of any heroes I should cover as I head to Philippines and Indonesia in the coming days?

Savong’s Story

You really have to see it to believe how beautiful rural Cambodia is. Sparsely populated villages made up of a small cluster of wooden houses on stilts, next to a water canal that snakes through the lush green landscape. Ancient temples pop-up out of nowhere to surprise you and big curious smiles greet you everywhere.
Even though the village homes were very basic they were immaculately tidy and housed large families that all live together.

I was hunting for Savong’s School with my Tuk-Tuk driver from Siem Reip, getting blissfully lost in the narrow lanes of the village when I saw a group of young girls on bicycles. They were peddling furiously and I could tell they were late for something. School maybe? We just followed them and they brought us straight to Savong’s School!
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Some Heroes Find Me Instead

I’ve been traveling for precisely three weeks now. And today I can say that I’ve had all the highs and lows that either make you want to travel further or make you want to go home to mommy.

I know my mom’s reading this and will probably freak out, but I promised myself I’d be brutally honest in all my updates. (So, Mom, I swear I’m ok, please don’t freak out. I’m sure you’ll call me when you’re done reading anyway, talk to you then.)
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KK’s Story: Hip-Hop Healing in Cambodia

I wrote about my day at Tiny Toones Youth Drop in Center for my column in Hindustan Times, this week. You can read it here in my very own section on Hindustan Times’ website!

I’ve been traveling like a woman possessed and just haven’t stopped long enough to post an update! I’m staying in Phnom Penh for two days and it’s time to catch up! Boy do I have some crazy stories for you!

So, have I told you that I’ve near perfected the ‘art of getting lost’? Well I have, with a lot of help from the Tu-Tuk drivers here in Cambodia of course. They all seem to have a serious aversion to stopping to ask for directions! They get lost, go around in circles; completely ignore all my attempts at backseat driving and friendly suggestions. Ensuring that I’m either late, pissed off or traumatized by the time I reach my destination. So obviously, I’ve been walking a lot. It’s less painful, often quicker and cheaper for sure!
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Ha Long I’ve Waited!

I’ve waited very long indeed to see Ha Long Bay.

I’d seen pictures of this UNESCO world heritage site ages ago and it’s been sitting on my to-do list patiently, waiting to be ticked off. The day trip was very exhausting. And I’d recommend an over night trip instead, to anyone asking. Ha Long Bay is a beautiful, calming sight; imagine thousands of islands floating on placid waters.

One thousand nine hundred and sixty islands spread over approximately fifteen hundred square kilometers to be precise. And the rickety old fashioned boats weave through the islands slowly and very quietly.
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Mr. Rinh’s Story

I wrote about Mr Rinh’s Story for my column in Hindustan Times today. You can read it here.
There is still a lot to say about his organization VAVA and The Vietnam Friendship Village.

I spent an entire day with the children living there. The Vietnam Friendship Village houses about a hundred and twenty orphaned victims of Agent Orange. They are aged between five and twenty and have varying degrees of disability.

I was taken around the place by the kind and gentle Mrs. Ha, who has been working at the Friendship Village for a decade now. The soft-spoken lady spent several hours with me, sharing information and introducing me to the staff, volunteers and the residents.
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Dinh Phuong’s Story

She’s 27, she’s a new mother and in another life she could be a dirt bike champion!

But in this life, she’s a bright young girl, who works with the impoverished rice farmers in rural Vietnam. Performing a pivotal role in changing the fortune of a tiny community.

I met Dinh Phuong when I arrived at the Xuan Thuy National Park in Nam Dinh District in Vietnam. The journey there tested my will and intent more than any other incident in my trip so far.
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Soraida’s Story (Video)

She keeps very poor health. Her doctors recently informed her that apart from all her other problems, she also has Multiple Sclerosis.

But, the woman I met seemed anything but unwell or inflicted with a painful disease. She greeted me with the cheeriest ‘hello’! Her eyes were bright and she seemed genuinely glad to meet me.

A tragic childhood incident triggered her life long concern and dedication for these gorgeous animals. Soraida Salwala was traveling with her father and happened to cross a large Elephant breathing its last after being hit by a truck. She asked her father, what had happened to the ‘Uncle Elephant’ and why couldn’t they take it to the hospital- a place Soraida knew well, as a sickly child.
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