On our first day staying in Sonywa, we visited 8-10 houses. At every house, they served us tea and various snacks like peanuts, chickpeas, beans, and bananas. At one of the houses, an old lady, probably in her 90’s, reached out and touched my hands. She placed them next to hers. She compared the rings that she wore with mine. Her hands were worn and showed signs of years of manual labor; mine were pale and soft revealing my lack of manual labor and youth. Her rings were plain pieces of wire haphazardly formed into a circular ring shape; my rings were from all over the world and had intricate designs and carvings. The old woman then compared our llongyis. Hers was a simple fabric with some tears on the bottom; mine had beautiful threaded designs in vibrant colors.
Overall, this old woman’s comparison of our bodies and belongings completely highlighted my privilege. I couldn’t help but think about how grateful I was to have this experience and interaction.