Actress Esther Kwan (關詠荷) attended an event for Orbis, an organization that aims to improve eye health in struggling countries around the world. As the organization’s ambassador, Esther and Orbis’ team traveled to the quake-ridden Nepal, where they visited villagers who were unable to afford proper eye care.
Esther said her trip could be summarized into four different experiences—happiness, fear, unimaginable, and sadness.
In their week-long trip in Nepal, Esther and the team often had to travel uphill, as many of the villages were on top of mountains. One day, the weather suddenly turned for the worst, and a terrible storm hit their side of the mountain. “I felt like I was in the movie Twister. I could feel the car struggling to stay upright. I saw cars already turned over ahead of us. Then, it started hailing for 30 seconds, and water was seeping into the car. We had to wear our raincoats inside. Fortunately, we all escaped danger in the end.”
Will Bring Daughter to Nepal
Esther got teary-eyed when she shared her story about meeting a little girl who was suffering from cataracts. “After healing one eye, her mother said it was enough. One eye is enough to live on. I wasn’t expecting this response. As a mother, I would also hope to see my children living healthily and peacefully. When I went home, I told my daughter this story. She wondered why the mother decided to not go through with the rest of the operation, and told me she realizes how lucky we all are. I told her that people there do not live a life of luxury like we do. The mother had no choice but to make that decision.”
The trip to Nepal lasted six days. Esther said it was her first time in the Himalayan country, and she was surprised to see how kind and helpful the locals were. She also said Nepali dishes suited her tastes, saying, “We ate curry lamb almost every single day.”
When speaking about the April 2015 Nepal earthquake, a disaster that Nepal is still suffering from, Esther said, “We went to Nepal around the earthquake’s first anniversary. There were still many fallen buildings, rooms that were missing a wall.” Esther then grew teary-eyed again, and said, “I still did not expect the mother to give me such an answer. We all just want our children to be healthy. The opportunity was given to her yet she still didn’t accept it. It was quite frustrating.”
Asking if she would bring her daughter Brittany, who is 10 years old, to Nepal with her in the future, she said, “She wanted to go this time, but our schedules didn’t work out. Hopefully she’ll be able to go next time.”
Esther Tells Brittany to Study, Daughter Retorts: You Didn’t Even Do That”
A recent episode of TVB’s informative program The Treadmill Runner <沒有起跑線？> raised some debate online when a mother on the show admitted that she would plan the birth month of her baby ahead of time so her child would be eligible to apply for certain schools when it’s born.
In regards to this extreme parenting, Esther said, “Many people like to talk about what they want their children to be like in the future, but now the planning has gotten to even before birth. I understand that parents would like their children to be the best, but once the child is born, I feel that nothing else is more important than the child’s own happiness.”
Esther doesn’t consider herself to be a “tiger mom”, but she often tells her daughter to study despite not enjoying studying herself. Brittany would say to Esther, “You don’t even study!” Esther laughed and said, “She’s right though. Studying is very difficult.”
Gossip circles claimed that Esther hired seven graduate students to tutor Brittany on different subjects. Esther said, “Not that much! But there are tutors for Chinese, English, and math. My daughter attends an international school, so her level of Chinese is lower than expected. Sometimes I would study with her, and then give her something in return if she does well.”
No Interest in Returning to TVB Dramas
Asking if Esther would be interested in returning to acting for TVB, she said, “They won’t cast people like us anymore.” (But TVB do want people like you!) “I don’t want to do it anymore. I’m used to the lifestyle I have right now. I came across a TVB Crew one day, shooting that drama with Mandy Wong (黃智雯) and Benjamin Yuen (袁偉豪). They were both dressed really nicely, but it was so hot. Thinking back, those days filming dramas were some difficult times. I don’t think I have that kind of energy anymore.”
Source: Oriental Daily
This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.