My second night at a music festival in the rainforest – Rainforest World Music Festival 2014

Fresh off the bus, and I could already feel the activity buzzing in the air around me. I met Lloyd – a Filipino blogger – whom I promptly lost upon reaching the workshop we were headed to (ironic, considering his blog URL).

There is something thrilling about meeting a blogger. I am intrigued by what they have to say because we are such an opinionated breed with a penchant for experiences and adventures (and therefore, full of stories) because we don’t want to miss out on life.

It is hard for me because I am greedy and want to capture moments as well as live them.

During the Drum Circle, I steal snaps in between booming away on my drum and scouting for potential photographs.

They all look like they know exactly what they are doing, and then there’s me… Looking apprehensive about my rhythm and guilty because I abandon my drums to reach for the camera.

He looked so grumpy, I couldn’t resist! It makes me wonder if the adults are laughing because this is the only joy they have left and the children aren’t enjoying themselves because they don’t need anything but their imagination.

I am out in the open, nothing between me and the sun but a light stickiness of sweat and sunblock. I love its warmth but I hate being tan but in that moment I care only for the beat of the drums and the fun filling my heart. There is a true sense of togetherness and I feel connected to everyone through the music we are creating. But I gave up my seat for whoever wanted to join in and started to hunt for faces.

I like photographing children, but I feel like a creep in their parents eyes. I wouldn’t want my children to be photographed by a stranger, I just hope that others don’t feel the same. I try to photograph them when their parents are watching – so they know I have pure intentions and nothing to hide.

This makes me think about how a child’s innocence is tainted by adults and wish Peter Pan existed and that I went to Neverland when I had the chance. Forget about being a princess, a lost girl would have been far more exciting. But what I’m getting at is, we give their actions meaning. We see two children playing and our adult minds perceive their actions to be suggestive and we stop them. We strip away their mindless play and allow them to think what they did was wrong and they grow up feeling confused and afraid because they don’t understand. It makes me sick to think about it and it makes me want to cry because we lose so much when we grow up.

Limkokwing set up a booth and sold bracelets made from seeds. They painted the seeds and strung them together to make a chain of vibrant colors. Fun fact: The seeds are hardy and were used as bullets by the natives.

As the night wore on, people got sillier and began to play. The ball spent most of the rest of the night in the air, as partygoers flung it back up every time it fell. Nothing like a lil bit of intoxication to bring out the child in us.

When the festival ended, we went to Damai Central, saw an impromptu performance and watched people enjoy themselves.

And we ended the night by dancing with the stars.

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