Nothing 3rd world with these smiles

My first experience of a “third world country” was a trip to East Timor in 2009. I was lucky enough to travel with a group of friends, my best friend and my partner.  I got to return again in 2011 with my best friend, my partner and her dad!  The thing is I am not sure why we call this country a 3rd world, as if its last on the list of places you would want to visit or live.  Sure its underdeveloped, the roads are not good, power is intermittent at best, poor nutrition, education…..I could go on about all the things it doesn’t have compared with a country like Australia.  But then that would only be focusing on the negative because it has so much more to offer.  The resilience of the people, their pride in their independence, their ambition, their culture and the beauty of the country and people.  It is only the economics that classes this place as 3rd world, there is so many things to admire and be envious of.

But in this post I want to focus on the young people and children.  I was moved like millions upon millions of others by the Kony 12 movie.  And while there seems to be a small but vocal crowd trying to discredit what they are doing, I believe what they are doing is very powerful.  Using this medium to create awareness and bring about change.  Those that want to take away from that are uncomfortable when confronted with the reality of a situation and confronted with the truth, which is you and I can all do something to make a difference.  Ok so I will get off my high horse now.

This post is about the smiles that are out there, its about the joy children can have and do have in circumstances that most of us would find challenging.  My time in Timor showed me this.  I simply took out my camera and kids from all over the place would come and play in front of it.  I could have been there all day just taking photos of these kids.  For all that they didn’t have they have one thing that I see lacking in our “lucky country” kids.  They know joy, they know how to have fun, they know how to smile.

Do something for the children in countries like Timor.  They don’t want your hand out but a hand up.  Help them with the gift of education.  Its so easy to support these developing countries.  And if you get a chance to visit one day I promise you this.  No matter how much money you give, how much effort you put in to fundraise or how many goods you send over, if you visit you will get more back from these children that you can imagine.

Make a difference

cheers Faces

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