From the white (and red) girl in Asia

By March 3, 2009Uncategorized

I am fair skinned, I am pale, I am white…and after a few hours at the beach yesterday, I am now red as well.  It’s interesting, I am red and I am white, the two colours of my nation’s flag.  Being the ‘white girl’ in Asia means a number of things, one being that I stick out.  Walking down the street in the Philippines or here in Malaysia, I stick out like a sore thumb, the giant white girl (and yes, I’m pretty much a giant here).  On TV, both in the Philippines and Malaysia, I’ve seen ads for skin whitening products. The people here want to look like me, they want to be white, which is a pretty strange concept for me, I know the drawbacks, like really bad sunburns that make you look like a walking veggie.  Why is it that no matter where a person is in the world, there seems to be this desire to be something or someone other than who or what you are.

This experience is still stretching me, I’ve tried new foods (something that is very hard to get me to even think about) like mangoes, and seaweed salad and squid.  I’ve trekked through the jungle, swam in the ocean (a warm ocean!) and have become closer to different people on my team.  This place is amazing, it is wild and beautiful in a way completely different than my home.  Where I come from, mountains, pines, cedars and maples rule, here, it’s tropical.  It’s different but still breathtaking to come to a part of the world that is rarely seen by people like me.

Soon we’ll be making our way to Thailand, a return trip for me and a first for many of my friends.  We’ve been through so much already and we still have just over a month left in this trip.  For now it’s difficult to even begin to think about how I may have changed because of this.  I’m sure I have, for it seems unlikely that a person can take part in an adventure like this and not come out  changed in one way or another.  And so the adventure continues onward.

for now Peace Out <3