Vann is walking up ahead, and at the entrance to Oun’s yard he leaves the gate open for me. I take pictures of the scene, of the gate that’s ajar and the remarkable house with the freezer in the yard. And then suddenly a little girl appears, looking at me with fearful eyes.
She is the daughter of Oun’s help in and around the house. They are at work in the orchard.
Quickly, I take a picture of her. The camera was already pressed up against my glasses, so all I have to do is push the button. I let her pass through the gate, taking a few more pictures of this shy girl as she scurries off.
She then turns around one more time, and looks straight into the camera.
My heart jumps.
In the distance, between the trees, her mother is waiting. I wave to her, as I watch how the little girl in the red dress disappears among the trees. I then return to Oun’s house.
Slowly starting to appear
Oun has prepared another delicious meal, and we sit down at the table along with Vann and Khun Ann. We eat in silence. After lunch, as usual, they do the rounds of the garden and pick fruit to take to the city. Entire bunches of bananas and mangos, as well as stinky fruit.
Back in my hotel room, I import that day’s photos into Lightroom. Taking a quick look through them, I realize I need to take a step back from today’s experience. I decide to eat first, check some digital news from the Netherlands, and take a stroll along the Mekong.
Once I finally feel up to it, I boot up Lightroom again and go over every image. I’m satisfied with what I see. The photos capture what I wanted to capture: Un-Seen by Vann, Seen by Elly.