Wednesday, March 01, 2006

abandonment and adult diapers

One of the emails in work’s public announcements folder yesterday included a photo of some of the staff with a group of elderly women, many of whom were obviously incapacitated. The email subject was “Visit to Bahay ni Maria”.

The text of the email included the following description of what the staff were doing:

“…brought cheer and supplies of adult diapers, toiletries and food to the abandoned grandmothers.”

The last two words piqued my interest. Abandoned grandmothers? Who abandons grannies?? Googling “Bahay ni Maria” turned up quite a few mentions, but no actual Bahay ni Maria site. But I did manage to find out that it’s a “home for the abandoned aged and children.”

The idea of "abandoned aged and children" is desperately sad but, somehow, the “aged” part of the equation makes me feel sadder. Both are tragic and I don’t presume to know how being abandoned as a kid could affect the rest of your life. I guess some abandoned kids go on to happy lives and some don’t, and I have no idea if the latter is more likely due to the abandonment. I also don’t know if, on balance, it’s emotionally worse to be abandoned as a child or as an elderly person (if in fact it’s possible to measure that). But the abandoned granny idea makes me feel wretched. Maybe because I imagine an abandoned kid would be less self-aware, less conscious of the tragedy of being abandoned. I simply can’t fathom how it would feel being 80 years old and waking up to find that the people who were supposed to care for me—probably people I helped bring up—had done a runner.

And to make sure things don’t get all teary, here are two more shots of Filipino modes of transport, from the same night as the jeepney shots.

3 people on a small motorbike. You often see many more than 3.

A tricycle -- the Filipino answer to the tuktuk or auto-rickshaw, or whichever version you choose. Basically just a small motorbike with a covered sidecar chucked on. I've seen at least 8 people in these before. And, remember -- they're the vehicle of choice for the army.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

watch this and learn:

(work safe, needs sound)

2:09 pm  

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