Babysitting, Hmong Style
This little girl is six, and had been carrying her eighteen-month old little brother in a sling on her back for most of the day.
The forlorn look?
Well, it could be the weight. He’s a chunky little fellow: he probably weighs more than half what she does. Or it could be the way he’s tugging at the huge silver earrings the women and girls all wear.
It could be the impact of the Chinese melodrama on the telly she was watching through the window, nose virtually glued to the glass.
Or it could be that she’d had a hard day at work, hustling tourists to buy embroidery and bangles with the baby on her back.
Child labour in Asia comes in many forms, and in the cool, scenic highlands around Sapa, where we are now, it’s often very photogenic.
In this shot, she looks a bit more like a little girl again. She’ll be married in a decade or so, and the cycle will start again.