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24 Feb 2002


Today we made the long-awaited, much-postponed visit to Hum's home a few kilometres from the factory. The whole family - a dozen of them, three generations - were out in the yard to greet us. It's the dry season now so the land is rather harsh, though the mango trees give plenty of shelter from the hot sun. Life seems to be lived mainly outside and there are large benches and beds under the trees for afternoon siestas, so we all sat down to chat. The house, surrounded by a lot of land and trees, is little more than a delapidated shack, but this doesn't seem to diminish the smiles or the obvious closeness of the family. Small children smiled curiously at us while dogs scurried around and growled at Ming. Hum's wife was washing clothes outside in a big tub; since the family well was destroyed by floods last year she has to carry water from the brother's house next door - life is tough. We took a group photo (perhaps their first, as they have no camera) and then headed off to the farm where Hum's father stays to work the land.