A delightful afternoon with @melonbunnie

Met Anissa (@melonbunnie) and her shy friend this afternoon. We have been tweeting for a few months, and it was good to see her for the first time. Social media does bridge individual from one part of the world to the other.

Anissa, who is in her early 20s, hopes to be a nurse one day. She smiled while explaining to me a bit about her training as a nurse in the local institution. Her aspiration is challenging, I would know as I served several tours-of-duty as a relief worker cum medic for disaster spots in the old days. She's determine to complete her training and work for her community.

Her outfit and her tudung (cloth covering her hair) was simple, devoid of bright colours but her bright eyes and smile tore through the hesitation of our first meeting.

We spoke about life in general, about community work and the social media usage among young people. Her friend, who nervously held on to her iPhone, joined in the conversation briefly.

Its not difficult to see that young people in Narathiwat are determined to break from the cocoon of hardship. They have many dreams, and many are determined to take charge of their lives.

The people have grown accustomed to the violence in their province but the young are determined to facilitate a brighter future through education and higher-income careers.

After Anissa and her friend left, I thought of her, my "adik" (little sister), her vibrant smile, the present. She will struggle like many but her remarkable wits will keep her going, to build a better life for herself and her family.

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