I have no qualm on admitting that Angelina Jolie is my No.1 inspiration. Apart from her humanitarian heart, I also feel connected to her bizarre alter ego “the wild and free child”. She is a Gemini like me and we both share the same taste of … let say, exotic selections in life. She is unfazed with all the inevitable attentions she get and stay raw to the reality of life.
Amazing book – at least for me. It brings me out from the shell of depression I have been battling for the past month. Angie, my angel.
This is the first book from the 6 books I bought via the Baucar 1 Malaysia (RM 250). It costs RM84.19 at Kinokuniya KLCC (I love it here. You can find all kinds of books, even the rarest of all! Well done Kinokuniya!). It chronicles the humanitarian journeys Angie made to 4 territories / nations :-
- Africa (Sierra Leone, Tanzania);
- Pakistan; and
I would say that reading Angie’s notes from her travels is somewhat a therapeutic and healing process for me. For the past 4 weeks I have been having a rollercoaster emotional upheaval and depression which forced me to have a solo escapade in Melaka for two consecutive weeks (The Settlement Hotel, REFER to https://undomiel84.wordpress.com/2016/04/03/battling-mental-depression-with-self-serenity-notes-of-my-travel-the-settlement-hotel-melaka/; & The Pines, REFER to https://undomiel84.wordpress.com/2016/04/10/isnt-it-ironic-a-light-at-the-end-of-depression-tunnel-weekend-vacation-with-family-the-pines-melaka/) but Alhamdulillah after the retreat, I feel rejuvenated and emancipating myself from the dark places. Through these notes, I realized the demons I have been dealing with are just DWARVES in comparison to the misery faced by all the refugees around the world. It dawned to me that perhaps I am taking the luxury of my life for granted?
Angie wrote from her perspectives. She was at the point of time where she realized that there were so much more in the world than the superficial life in Hollywood. She was so suffocated with that as she never felt she fit in. So, she decided to travel to these part of the world and instantaneously felt connected to the outcasts and downtrodden. She realized that community in Hollywood are too engrossed with things that are ridiculously superficial in comparison to these refugees. I myself felt the slap on my face when I read that.
Along the way, she met amputees, women and young girls tortured and raped, malnourished children, widows and widowers with horrifying pasts, and many more. Electricity and water supply are scarce. I like the way she battled with her instinct knowing that she would eventually leave the place to her solace in the comfortable USA when she already seen the horrendous reality of wars in that parts of the world. She felt guilty for be able to be escape that but at the same time realized that the knowledge about these places has changed her life forever; changed her perspectives. And not to mention that, she had found her love to a child during the journey to Cambodia; Maddox – a child she used to not want; a child who finally opened herself as a woman who emotionally, mentally & spiritually stable to start her own family, finally.
The boy from Cambodia who changed her life perspective.
I like Angie because she is raw, honest and she thinks about life the way as it is; not as the pampered Hollywood brats. As her persona shot to the A-listers, I think Angie has been trying to gloss her Hollywood aura to these humanitarian issues because she knows that most people are interested on her as THE Hollywood actress and only very few are keen on the serious refugee issues. It was also during the journey to Cambodia that she began to feel connected to the people and eventually adopted Maddox, the boy who turned her life into a new purposeful life :-
“The last picture in the photo insert was taken two years ago after my Cambodia journal was written. My life changed; this country, Cambodia, has had a profound effect on me. In this picture, my son Maddox and I are returning home again to Cambodia.
Past the sadness and self-pity these people accept the reality of their lives and are grateful for all they have. I am proud to call these people friends and excited to raise my son – proud of his people – proud to be Cambodian.” -page 130 & 131.
Pol Pot. The man who was responsible for the Killing Field in Cambodia. Imagine million of skulls. Innocent people died due to someone’s greed and power-lust.
She had nightmares and hardly could breathe when she saw the atrocities committed by Polpot, the dictator who was responsible for the notorious The Killing Field. She also met with a lot of Colombian refugees seeking solace at Ecuador who used to lead normal professional lives but their privileges were stripped off by the paramilitaries. She also witnessed the wrath of lethal malaria and diarrhea as well as the malnourished children in the African regions :-
“This little girl saw her parents and her older brother brutally killed. Somehow she escaped with her baby brother. The baby is so terribly skinny. I don’t think he will make it. He is all she cares about. She is her only family. Everyone who meets these two children is affected. One of the nurses had to quietly walk away. She began to cry, and one of the men walked her outside.
The little girl never looked up into anyone’s eyes. She seemed very sweet. She just sat there looking out the window, resting her chin on her little brother’s head. She was too weak to cry.” – page 67
How could you not well up when you read these? How could you not feel twinge of melancholy? How could you not feel pang of slap on your ungrateful face? Really, reading these make me feel humbled and floored. I feel that God purposely wants me to read this at the right time.
I like Angie because she embodies what a person should be. Sure, all of us have our own dark pasts and dark demons but those experiences make us a better person in the future. There will be a point in one’s life where the perspective will be changed; fathoming the reality instead of being so immersed with superficiality. Yes, I have a dream to elevate myself; I want to do PhD. I want to be a Communication researcher/ lecturer of which I think I have the ability and talents IF God permits me with the opportunities. But I will never forget the pedagogical root as a teacher because I feel that through this career as a teacher, I am becoming more compassionate and keen on humanity development of the society. Life as a teacher educates me to be more attentive, good listener and definitely out from the superficial bubbles. Certainly like once I have mentioned in my writing : Teacher Is A Humanitarian In Education.