Thursday 12 April 2012: Tay Ho
This is the west lake in Tay Ho which is one of the rich districts of Hanoi. A lot of wealthy ex pats and Hanoians live here - so I didn't like the area much when I first moved to Vietnam. But we all come here to shop as its one of the few places you can buy Western groceries. Last summer I was hit on the back by something sticking out on a passing moto and got thrown into a squelchy pile of mud. I was having trouble getting up and was floundering about embarrassed and shocked while a few westerners just walked by avoiding me. An old Vietnamese woman who was scrounging for rubbish helped me up and gave me a dirty rag to clean up the mud and blood. Hmmm happy memories of the place. But it's a great break from the Old Quarter as no tourists here so no hassling by street hawkers
I had physiotherapy for my left hand this morning - it hasn't recoverd well from the carpal tunnel surgery I had here a few months ago and turns out I was only doing stretching not strengthening exercises (that's what you get for do it yourself Internet physio) - I'd forgotten how painful physio is!!!!! Excruciating ...... but hopefully will get me back on track - I have to heal this one so I can get the right one done. Which is also stuffed after this last week and needs another cortisone injection.... Ok boring... But this is my journal and I am being faced by so many painful challenges at the moment - that threaten not only my career and passion but my independence. Hopefully this is the turning point.
In this photo a local is fishing with a bamboo rod. This area is such a strange blend of poverty and wealth. I was criticized/challenged by someone the other day who asked how could I justify putting so much energy into bears when so many people are living in poverty. I guess I feel that there are lots of people helping people but very few helping the animals - and I've spent many years working with battered women and kids and street kids. But this is what I'm good at and I still believe if you just pick one thing to do to make a difference and put everything you have into it it helps make the world a better place.
Thank you all for your 'hugs' this week. I thought it would all be boring and people would drop out of "looking in on me" but instead I,ve made more friends!
I am now going to drink a mojito or two and look in on whaT I,ve missed in your lives the last week