It’s hard to believe we’ve just been in Hong Kong a week now! It’s been an eventful time, although not much like what I anticipated. Rather than doing work with prostitutes & the homeless, most of our ministry has been with children! There’s a number of Nepalese and South Asian immigrants in Hong Kong and many of the parents work late, leaving their children to roam the streets unattended till midnight. A lot of the teens are also into drugs. We’ve done several programmes for these rambunctious kids in partnership with local ministries, as well as sharing our stories with immigrant teens & adults.
MAID IN THE PHILIPPINES
The largest number of immigrants in Hong Kong, though, are Filipino women who come on special visas as domestic workers. On Sunday – their day off – parks, the pavement and underpasses are chock-a-block full of Filipino women. They sit on cardboard boxes on the ground socialising, playing cards, dancing and re-connecting with each other. We hung out with them on Sunday and were touched by their stories (and learned some fly dance moves!). Most have left behind husbands and children all for the sake of economic survival. It is so tragic when a person is forced to leave their family and homeland because they can’t make a descent living. And it seems even crueler that they are in Hong Kong working as live-in maids – a luxury in my book.
Monday we had a day off, so Dan & I headed to the Sai Kung Peninsula – the closest thing to wilderness you’ll find in Hong Kong and a world away from the skyscrapers and neon lights. Of course, heading there was a 3.5 hr ordeal of travelling on foot, underground, bus and taxi…but it was worth it! We were the only hikers on 12kms of trail through lush jungle and secluded white sand beaches.
After hiking in agonising heat and humidity, swimming in waves of the crystal clear sea was heavenly. We saw a snake, water buffalo and an enormous warthog. We also walked through villages that were almost entirely abandoned. Most of the residents of these remote areas left for the cities in the 1970s. They left behind gorgeous traditional houses that are slowly being engulfed by vegetation. I can’t imagine how much their lives would have changed – moving from an isolated seaside jungle to a crowded skyscraper in a densely packed city. Abandoned houses always hold such mystery – what circumstances would cause someone to leave his home & belongings and never return? I’ll probably never know… but I do know that I for one want to return to this area!
Meanwhile we’re enjoying a category 8 typhoon, but at least it’s warm