Monday, 25 March 2013

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down

I have had a quiet few days and am currently home alone as Jessica and Crystal have gone away for a holiday on the beach at Con Dao island until tomorrow afternoon. However, in only two days my mum will be arriving to stay with me for a fortnight. This seems to have come around so quickly and I am really looking forward to having her here.

At the weekend I had a chance to spend some time exclusively with Jessica for the first time in a while, and, it seems, for the last time in a while as she will be going on a trip to the USA shortly after my mum leaves and will not return until a few days before my flight home at the end of May. We spent Saturday going around Phu My Hung to organise some things for an informal presentation evening I will be hosting as a leaving do and as preparation for my 'big' presentation in Leeds in the summer. We spent a lot of time in a Fujifilm shop looking into the costs of having some of my photographs developed and framed for exhibition, as well as looking for a venue. Then she took me out for lunch at a Korean barbecue restaurant, a new experience for me.

The rainy season seems to be hesitantly and prematurely asserting itself here in the form of early morning downpours that are usually all over by the time I wake up. This is not doing much to help the heat that escalates day by day. There are mosquitoes all over the house now and it's starting to drive me crazy.

I have completed a book review this morning, of Anne Fadiman's The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors and the Collision of Two Cultures. The study follows the case of Lia Lee, a young Hmong child diagnosed with epilepsy in Merced, California in the late 1980s and the cultural gulf between the beliefs of her doctors and her parents. On a wider scale, the book looks at the roots and nature of cross-cultural divides in the US medical system and the dangers they pose. Please click here to read my review.

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