The orphan Boy Story
Tony Liu as the Hard Boiled Man
Qing Wen as Kid
The below content provides context for "The Orphan Boy Story"
The Gate: The Tsunami’s Orphaned Children
Children are one of the most vulnerable groups to be affected by any tragedy, and those orphaned by the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami were no exception. An estimate of up to 150,000 children in Aceh and North Sumatra were believed to have lost one or two parents due to the devastation. At least 20,000 had lost not only their parents but all other family members and relatives. On top of the overwhelming trauma of losing one’s parents at a developmental age, the disaster became a perfect opportunity for child traffickers to sell young children. Aceh orphans were sold into forced labour, sexual slavery in wealthy neighbouring countries such as Malaysia and Singapore, and illegal adoption. The Indonesian government imposed a ban on orphans in the two provinces from being adopted abroad or in other Indonesian regions.
In a survey conducted five to seventeen months after the event, researchers found that children who managed to return to school did so strikingly quickly, possibly due to the fact that education provided some structure and a sense of stability. Many children who were able to stay with relatives and other family members were forced to grow up quickly and leave school for work or marriage. Younger girls often chose to forgo school to take up roles in homes, marrying older men who lost wives in the disaster. Recovery for those orphans and for anyone involved in such a catastrophe continues to be a matter of decades-long communal healing.
Agencies. “Guards to Protect Tsunami Orphans from Child Traffickers.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 5 Jan. 2005,
Laksamana. “Indonesia: 150,000 Children Orphaned by Tsunami: VP - Indonesia.” ReliefWeb, 5 Feb. 2005, reliefweb.int/report/indonesia/indonesia-150000-children-orphaned-tsunami-vp.
Powell, Alvin. “Legacy of an Indonesian Tsunami.” Harvard Gazette, 8 Nov. 2011, news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2011/11/legacy-of-an-indonesian-tsunami/.
The Waiting Area: Serendipity
An 11-year old child inadvertently leaves a mix of water and soda powder outside to freeze overnight, and the popsicle is born. A scientist recognizes that emissions from his radar equipment had melted some leftover candy in his pocket, bringing the microwave oven into existence. A professor uses the wrong piece of equipment and manifests the implantable pacemaker.
Serendipity is the universe’s way of atoning for all the times that it has failed us. It is an ounce of luck that we did not seek out, but one that we surely deserve. The phenomenon dictates that sometimes, all it takes is to merely exist. So much good can come out of living, trying, failing, and expecting nothing in return.
Serendipity is reaching into the pocket of a coat you haven’t worn since last winter and finding a $20 bill. It’s reading a book mindlessly and finding that the author has put your feelings into words—articulated sentiments that you’ve long been trying to explain. It’s unearthing a connection with someone even though you weren’t looking. It’s a mysterious kinship that you could’ve never predicted but you let serendipity win because the happiest of chances are scarce. They do, however, make moments of misfortune almost worth it.
“Calgary Airport.” Entro, https://entro.com/project/calgary-airport/.