For a lot of us money is the goal, the reward. But to a [social] entrepreneur money is a tool to make change. Borrowing money to make money is the alchemy of the modern day. When the ultimate goal of making that money is to change your life and the lives of those around you at a very profound level, then that’s pure magic.
That’s what I’m witnessing here in Tam Ky on a daily basis. Mrs Hanh is pure magic. She’s scrimped and saved, borrowed and begged from family and friends and already she’s doing what so many of us only dream about – she is quite literally changing the world.
This restaurant is not what I was expecting, even though I’d seen the original architect’s drawings, I genuinely think I understimated her. Shame on me. Throughout all the worry that comes with the risk of a new business, Mrs Hanh has kept her vision strong and now that we get closer to the date, and Kiem has moved in and she’s getting phonecalls on behalf of other orphans hoping to move in, the itch is getting so strong to just get this place going.
Right now I’m Mrs Hanh’s employee. She’s not paying me but she’s treating me very well – if you’ve met her, then you know her hospitality knows no bounds! I’m here as a sounding board and as company when she’s shopping for all the millions of small things. I’m also supposed to be sharing photos and stories with you to let you see what’s happening and, ahem, encourage a little more dosh in the pot. But I’m afraid I’m not expressing the sheer amazingness of it all. I don’t know how to tell you how absolutely awe inspiring this place is. Mrs Hanh’s biography will be a bestseller some day!
And how can you support this one-woman wonder?
Send her happy vibes, she’s totally stressing. She’s got a to-list the height of her and she’s still taking care of everyone else. Send her the price of a cup of coffee or a weekday lunch – knowing that if you ever come here you’ll get a lot more than that back. Know that she will take note of every loan and make every effort to repay it in full within 10 years. She’ll note every donation and instead of repayment, she’ll pay it back into the community by using it to send a child to school or help a family out of poverty. Share this page and maybe someone else might throw in the price of a coffee too and it keeps rolling.
In the right hands money is magic , it’s a tool that can change the world.
I’m back in my other hometown, Tam Ky, Vietnam. The place I adopted back in 2008 when I lived and worked here for 6 months out of the 9 I spent living here. I got here late on Monday night and slept all day Tuesday so it’s been 4 days really.
Yesterday was tough. I spent the day questioning myself. Why am I here? What can I really do? What’s my vision, my focus, my plan? Am I doing more harm than good being here? Genuinely, what’s the good in showing up everyday for a couple of months and then disappearing again? What does it achieve? And on and on the questions went.
Then today I got to the orphanage and realised I hadn’t seen Gai yet. I spotted her and smiled, doubting she knew who I was but she smiled back anyway. Then she came over, said “hello Edin” (yeah, that’s my name here) and immediately started chatting. She remembered, we had fun, she knows I’m here for 2 months and I’ll be gone again. And I think she’s ok with that.
I also took a bucketload of photos today so I think that helped.
I did it. Finished a photography project. Much satisfaction.
It’s been an interesting month, I feel as though a lot of ideas and thoughts have become clearer for me. I’m not about to go into an in depth analysis right now though. I’ll leave it and let some distance grow between it and me. Clearer picture like.
It’s starting to get Christmassy around here so I thought I’d find some interesting examples of red and green being used in a very non-Christmassy way.
Eurobus Designs // Koki Tanaka // Models (Pt I)
Please do yourself a favour and watch Koki Tanaka’s video‘Everything is Everything‘ – it’s an amazingly mesmerising video short showing faceless people doing everyday things, sometimes reimagining, often not.
I also kind of want the entire book of Eurobus designs, what an incredibly simple project. Excellent!
Phrases are cropping up again and again. I look forward to pondering it all a bit more in December.
I guess these few days were a bit eh, negative.
I’m so busy but feeling like l can do this. Watch me.
I can’t think of a single thing to say today. Too much, too many, not enough of anything.
Photos 13, 14 and 15 reporting for duty.
I’m really enjoying experimenting with my flash more than anything, number 13 took ages to get right because I was looking for some highlights in the hair but I’m still just using a camera mounted flash. I think I need to get a remote guy.
No flash, feeling sick, big red eyes. Sometimes I feel like I’m too serious, sometimes I feel like I lack any substance. I try not to be frivolous.See the rest of the portraits here.
Interesting things are happening in my world, I’m in the middle of a course from Braid Creative and I’m finding out some fascinating things through them. I’m also trying to not be sick and snotty.
Thanks for looking,
I have a horrible cold; lovely inspiration.
Hot lemon and yellow and green.lemon // bird // typography