Monday, April 30, 2007
Fishing in Mongolia
Today I met Lala, an eight year old boy who lived in Mongolia many years ago. He lived in a city of about 1,000,000 in a small house with his father, mother, three sisters and brother. Lala, was loved by his family as he was very helpful around the house and with the family. He looked forward to the first time that he would be able to go fishing with his father. That day finally came. They borrowed a van from their uncle Mo and the family drove off to the Ha sea which was a huge lake that was so big they called it a sea.
On the way to the sea Lala was talking to his sisters and brother about his big day. He was eight years old and going fishing with dad. The kids all piled out of the van and ran towards the water. Lala stayed back, even though his first instinct was to run off with his siblings. Lala and Papa unloaded the fishing gear with Mo and they made their way towards the water. Papa picked a safe spot and had Lala help him string the line through the loops in the pole and bait the hook. Papa helped Lala cast his line into the Ha sea just like he did with his father a generation before. The old red and blag Chinese fishing pole had been in the family for over 100 years and had seen made days fishing at the sea.
Papa let Lala hold the family fishing pole while it searched for a fish. Lala held the pole and moved it up and down in the water pleading to the generations of his family that had used the pole before for them to help him catch a fish that day for Papa. As he gazed out over the water he had dreams of good times and family outings that all revolved around fishing in the Ha sea. As he wandered through his thoughts of grandpa at the sea shore he was suddenly tugged back to the present by the pulling of the fishing pole down towards the water. What was this? Was there a fish on the line. he started to move towards the water, but Papa just said "Lala move back and start pulling in the fish." Lala moved backwards several steps and began reeling in the fish as it fought the line and bowed the rod. He finally conquered this monster of a fish that was all of 12 inched long. His first fish ever and Papa saw him catch it. Lala eat good that day at the Ha sea.
The first time he causght a fish his father was there to see the joy in his eyes. Through the years Lala loved to fish and watch the people, the water and their interactions with nature. Fishing was a relief from the daily struggles, a way to pass the time and provided some pretty good food to eat also. Lala has fished all over the world in fresh water and sea water. He knows his lures, his poles and his lines.
Lala came to the United States and continued to fish. One day he was looking at fishing poles in a store in California. He picked up a 15 to 25 pound rod and held it in his hands moving it up and down. He looked through the sight loops and they were straight. It appeared to be a good brand name fishing pole that had a good feel to it. He held a loop at the end with his index finger and thumb and and pulled it down to see how the resistance was when all of a sudden the pole snapped and shattered with a piece of it projecting into his face and slitting his eye. It took the sight completely out of his eye. Now Lala who loved to fish, fishes no more. Blinded in one eye and unable to muster the courage to go back to the water to fish, he is a broken man.
One day a few weeks ago he went to the beach with his friends and their family. He saw the father teaching the son how to fish and it broke his heart. He wants to get over this fear of fishing, but it is too emotionally painful. How can he hold a pole again when the last time he did it took his eye out. Not holding a pole for Lala is like loosing his family connection with the generations from the past. Lala now needs help to see his family history again, regain his sight and make this thing right. Lala has now retained a lawyer to help him with his problem.