Life in TransitA Digital Nomad in Asia

Food for Christmas Project 2011

Many recepients were old and ill.

I apologize for the slideshow breaking, but we are transitioning to a new theme and the slides show will be back asap

Merry Christmas everyone! This year, half way around the world in Asia, I found an opportunity to work with an enthusiastic bunch of people who gave up their holiday to spread the Christmas cheer to those less fortunate.

Though they might be ill and elderly, these people value independence.

The crew from the Food for Christmas Project helped to assemble food packages and then deliver them to 40 families in single room rental subsidized housing.

The residents welcomed us into their homes and spoke to us about their past and their present living conditions. There were former body building champions, fire fighters and taxi drivers. It was nice to get to know the people we were helping, and not simply drop off gifts. I had covered other charity gift drop offs before, but we did not get to talk to anyone much. Getting to know those we were helping was a much better experience.

One lady said that once her medication runs out, she would be just waiting to die. It was awkward as we didn’t really know what to say. Thank goodness someone who spoke dialect could say “hwa hee ju hor”. Literally, it means, “as long as you’re happy”. Or in this context, I guess it means as long as your live the rest of your life happily.

It was a little sad that their lives ended up in this little one room apartment (flat) that was barely bigger than my bedroom in Canada.

While the Residents Committee chose these people to receive the food hampers, not everyone was necessarily poor. One gentleman said he had children who were university professors. He lived alone as he valued his independence.

Though they might be ill and elderly, these people value independence. The first place we visited mentioned they had student volunteers come in to assist them with household chores. When we brought up the subject of the volunteers and offered to do some simple chores for the elderly, they replied that they preferred to do them on their own. I respect their drive to push through hardship on their own instead of relying on others.

They were also grateful, thanking us for the food and our time to distribute it.

The project was the brainchild of FionaJoanne and John who decided to sell an iPad he and won and donate the proceeds to charity. The idea then morphed into the food drive and they hope it will be the first of many to come.

They raised about $1300 and Heavenly Rice sponsored the event giving 40 families 10kg of rice each.

Posted in: Features