Beautiful Life

1120 words - 5 pages

Intro Sample...



? We go AIDS unit now.? These words were spoken in fragmented English by a tiny Thai woman dressed in a crisp white nurse?s uniform, complete with a stiff little hat perched on top of her overly styled black hair, teased and sprayed to perfection. I looked down at the nurse, somewhat startled. I certainly had not expected to be permitted to see into the gruesome reality of taboo Thai culture.

I had come to Lampang, Northern Thailand with nine other American students on my first of several community service programs to the country. By the time we reached the Kanyalyani hospital, we had already experienced our fair share of encounters with the peculiarities of the Thai people and their constant struggle ?to keep face?... View More »

Body Sample...


He had massive, weeping ulcers covering his face, body and hands, with only patches of tan skin peeking out from between the sores. His appearance alarmed me, but something shined in his eyes, and I edged closer. He reached out a thin, emaciated arm to me, and I took his hand in mine, curving it around his. My original fear melted away as a smile encompassed his face, and I too could not help but smile down at him. ?Suwhy,? the man whispered, ?Suwhy, ma crap.? (Beautiful, you are very beautiful) Caught in the moment, I had not even noticed that Alex and the nurse now stood next to me. The nurse spoke to the man for a moment and then turned to me and said, ? You do good service. You make him very happy.? I looked back into his eyes and stood silent. He would never know the service he had done for me. I was overcome with emotions that I struggled to make sense of. I had never encountered dying in such a real sense before. Until the man with penetrating eyes and contagious grin took my hand in his, I had always seen death as an ugly thing, yet here was beauty shining through; dark teaching me light.

Alex touched me lightly on the arm, breaking me from my trance. ?Are you okay? The nurse says we?re going to the maternity ward now, but if you need to go sit down, I?ll tell her.? ?No,? I said, shaking my head, ?And miss the babies? I think not!? We walked through a back door and into another building, the maternity ward. Unlike the AIDS unit, the maternity ward was flooded with light and had a cleanliness exclusive from the rest of the hospital. A tall bassinet stood at ...

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