To the Mothers of the World ~ I Pay You Tribute

There is a universal bond that we mothers have, the instinct that connects us together even if we can’t speak the same language.

 The language of motherhood is, after all, the same.

As I review photos of our travels, pictures of women and children jump out, each creating a special memory for me.

While in Ilula, Tanzania, East Africa, I met smiling mothers with babies carried snugly papoose style in brightly colored Kanga cloth. They had just walked their four year olds to the kindergarten where I was volunteering that day. These were the fortunate ones who could afford the meager tuition which includes a cup of porridge (ugali) for lunch.

In a village close by, we visit a mother who struggles daily to feed her family. She recently

volunteered to take in two foster children and now receives an allowance that not only benefits these children but her entire family. She is proud of the guinea pigs she raises for food supplementation but that doesn’t show in the photo of us together. It is not until I see the photograph that I feel foolish with my smiling face, not realizing she is not looking at the camera. Not something she is comfortable with. Poverty is nothing to smile about.

In contrast is a photo of a mother and baby seated by a window at Ankor Wat temple in Cambodia. Such pride and serenity in her face. New life, new beginnings she is cradling in her arms. Our motherly eyes connect and we both smile. No one is around and I feel a tenderness.

The next day we take a long boat excursion to a large floating village along the Tonle Sap Lake in Cambodia. This unique village is mostly Vietnamese who make their sustenance by living off the lake. Life is hard, but mothers and children adapt to their watery world. Our eyes do not connect, but the image remains with me.

I love this photo of a mother and daughter. I asked if I could take their picture and they agreed.  Both look dignified as they sit in a market place situated along the Mekong River in Vietnam. I would love to know their story. Were they teachers? They have a scholarly look and aren’t selling goods like those around them.

In Bali recently, we observed a ceremony where hundreds of women had gathered together for a celebration of dance and gamelan (music). This woman stood out because of her grey hair while everyone around her was much younger. How many children, grandchildren and even great-grandchildren has she watch grow up? What influences has she had on their lives?  There was a glimmer in her eyes, joyfulness about her and contentment with her age.

While in San Pablo del Lago, Ecuador, we stayed at Cuisin Hacienda. It was here that I met a beautiful young Quechuan (indigenous) mother and Sam, her adorable year old son. Several days a week she would appear with her beautiful weavings and line the railings in a colorful display. All were handmade by her father-in-law on a back strap loom.  I always looked forward to her smiling face and the peek-a-boo games Sam and I would play. I loved his Gap hat, given to him by an American tourist. What is their life like now, six years later? Is Sam in school?

My daughter and I were on a water taxi in Bangkok recently when the flooding was occurring north of the city. The river was high and embankments and businesses well sandbagged in places. Despite such obstacles, such fun we had on this trip together and what a joy she was to have with us, a dear daughter. What ever we were laughing about, I’m glad her father captured the moment.

As a mother, I feel blessed.

Recently, I was asked to speak to a women’s group about the role of women in the various cultures I have visited. This is what I wrote and closed with.

 Women to Women

Women to women
Worlds Apart
We are the same but different

Different culture
Different religion
Different education
Different language

But the same within
Same search for justice
Same search for dignity
Same belief in family values
Same journey to personal fulfillment

Women to women
Worlds apart
We are the same but different 

For more great Travel Photography visit Ron Mayhew Photography.

About travelerlynne

Traveler. Writer. Retired Educator.Traveling on and off the beaten path with my photographer husband. Volunteering locally as well as in Haiti and Tanzania, an enriching and humbling experience. A sun lover! Shelling, boating, fishing and watching sunsets. Growing mango, banana, key lime,and pineapple.Making smoothies and chutneys. Enjoying family and friends! Savoring each new day!
This entry was posted in Africa, Bali, Ecuador, Musings, Travel, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to To the Mothers of the World ~ I Pay You Tribute

  1. Paula says:

    Brilliant, Lynne!

    • Thank you, Paula, for your support and comments. This blog is special to me…such strength and courage in so many women of the world. You are one of them!

  2. Julie says:

    JULIE in COLORADO: My soul felt such joy as you share you wonderful awarenesses. Thank you

  3. Julie, you are miles from home and took the time to read this. Wow! You are also one of those strong women with strength and conviction. Happy Mother’s Day to you and Liz.

  4. Lynn Sarda says:

    Lovely, warm, dignified thoughts and pix, Lynne. Thanks.

  5. Thank you for your comments, Lynn. So many more photo/stories I could have included. It’s hard to choose. Ironically, in Vietnam, I observed more fathers tending children then mothers. That’s another blog.

  6. Dianne says:

    That was wonderful.


  7. Pingback: A Mother's Day Tribute | Ron Mayhew - The Blog

  8. Lovely stories and photos – especially enjoyed the poem!

  9. Am pleased you enjoyed the Tribute to Mothers. Happy Mother’s Day to you and I look forward to visiting your photography website.

  10. Gigi Galore says:

    Dearest Lynne! Thankyou so much for your lovely message today. I am feeling much better and trust that my Dad will also be feeling much better. I LOVE the look of this post but have not read it fully yet. But I wanted to tell you how beautiful it looks and sounds. I will read it fully tomorrow. Now it is din-dins time. Thankyou again Lynne! I feel blessed. 🙂

    • Gigi. You and your Dad need oceans of blessings right now. Glad you are feeling better. Just knowing people care is the blessing. Thank you for visiting my website and your kind comments. Sunshine thoughts!

      • Gigi Galore says:

        This is a truly beautiful post. I am going to send a link by email to my friend. She will also really love it. Everything about it is beautiful. Thankyou Lynne. I actually feel more connected to a family women reading it. Which is deeply nurturing for me. Thankyou 🙂

  11. Gigi, Am pleased the post touched you. Those pictures and stories were in my mind and heart and Mother’s Day was a way to share them. Thank you for sending the link to your friend. Sunshine thoughts!

  12. Nice post on mothers and children, Lynne. I especially love the Tanzanian mother with her colorful clothing!

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