**** GIRLPOWERRRRR **** A Final Goodbye To Vietnam

25 km before the border with Laos @ Xa Meo, Vietnam, 17-01-2017

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It’s always a question what is waiting for you,
whats’ there to be seen,
just around the corner.
Driven by curiosity.
You continue your ride.
Soon you are about to find out.
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Bicycles.
Like a lot!
Looks like there’s a school nearby.
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And so there was.
And the school was about to end.
Soon.
And I happened to ride my bicycle.
In the middle of all that.
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8 girls.
8 bikes.
On their way home.
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As soon as I passed them with a big smile on my face,
they decided to push their pedals a bit harder.
trying to catch up with me.
And from that moment on,
I was part of their team.
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9 girls.
9 bikes.
On their way home.
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And home happened to be on my way.
So we cycled together for the next 5 K.
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9 girls, on their bikes, taking over the road.
Because that’s what you do if you cycle as a team right?
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They really had to push their padels hard
as their little bikes didn’t have the right gear
and it happened to be a bit of mountainous here.
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Girlpowerrrrr! Is what we say.
Me, feeling impressed by their strength.
Them, feeling very content with this new member of their team.
It sure took them some effort, to overcome their shyness,
but now all the credits were there,
since there were many questions to be answered,
and many stories to share.
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Are you girls sure you don’t join me to Laos I say, from here on it’s only another 15 K.
And with a big smile on our face we continue our way.
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And then suddenly, all out of nothing, just before we reach the place that they call their home.
This one girl takes something out of her bag, as she’s still riding her bike.
She comes a bit closer, right next to me,
and then tells me to open my hand.
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As I receive her present I am the one that gets shy.
What a big gesture it is.
Not sure whether I am able to take this.
But her face is without a question, she is totally convinced.
Here it is.
An 11 year-old gives her necklace to this new member of their team,
even though they all know, that she’s most likely; never again to be seen.
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Girlpowerrrrrrr is what we say,
before we go our own way.
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Without a question,
we just happened to made each others day.
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With love,

Janneke

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