Helene Tremblay, "LET'S MEET ON EARTH", Canada
Having lived in over 111 countries with more than 140 families, Helene Tremblay, a Canadian-born Photographer, Author, Researcher and Speaker, presents an extraordinary journey of “human” discovery.
From sunrise to sunset, hour by hour, Helene takes part in the thousand little events that weave the everyday life of the majority. An adventure unfolding over 3 decades.
I look very much forward to share my interview with this truly amazing globe-trotter.
Let’s meet on Earth is a humane project that provides a global view of the similarities and differences between all the people. It is about the reality that unites us all. The stories reported shine a light on the people’s pride and wisdom. It facilitates our understanding of the themes of: family, housing, youth, education, health, community life, hopes and joys. It recognizes traditional knowledge, spirituality and the relation with nature’s elements.
Episode 1 of the Interview:
Episode 2 of the Interview:
Let’s Meet on Earth is embodied by Hélène Tremblay who researched and analyzed data about inhabitant’s living condition of visited countries. Families visited to present Humanity to Humanity, were chosen from detailed statistical profiles and accurately reflect the characteristics of each country.
If the majority of a country’s population is rural, the family chosen to represent it is rural. The family earns the average national income and has the number of children that corresponds to the national average. The family’s home also had to be representative of the country’s architecture and the predominant standard of living. For example, if the majority live far from the main roads, Helene would then walk to find the family.
Families in :Mongolia, and India
Factors to influence life-styles: access to electricity, to safe and piped water and to roads. A country’s major problems must also be taken into consideration: deforestation, over- population, migration to the cities, the inequalities of the social classes. Looking at a map is very different when you try to imagine who lives where, and what the climate and geography are like. Life varies in high altitudes, on the seashore, in the desert, in countries with monsoons, in villages, in cities of 10,000, 100,000, or one million inhabitants.
And the choice of family is made even more difficult when half the population is rural and the other half is urban. Data tells a lot about a country and it’s inhabitants’ living conditions. When in a country where, for instance, there are no statistics available on how many sixteen-year-olds are in school, at work, or unemployed, because research has not been done or compiled, I can only ask myself: What are they doing for their young people?
Family in Cambodia
Hospitality With the help of local organizations, we visit three, four, five families and I choose one. Here I am! I put down my bags. One day I follow the women, another day I follow the man and the next I follow the children. I put all of these days into one. Sometimes I take two or three weeks per country to accomplish my research, I spend four days in the family. I tried five days but, I felt that it was too much. A simple feeling. Then it is with the Bedouins, the desert people of the Middle-East, that for them hospitality lasts three days. They say that after that, the guest is like a cheese, its start smelling! One must know when to arrive and when to leave.
Families in: Azerbaijan, and Brunei
Communication It is not necessary to know all the languages of the world to speak to each other. Communications with my families were often a question of a glance and of the interpretation of their body language and heart. In fact some of the most difficult departure were from people with whom there had been mostly a silent sharing. No words were necessary.
HOME in MALI: an excerpt from Helene's story ( family in Mali)
I had to bring an interpreter with me. First day, when dinner time comes, I am served alone in the room they had freed for me.
I was not very happy about this. Meal time is an occasion for me for discussion. I ask my interpreter why? “Because they are ashamed,” she says. “They eat with their hands”. “Well, this is not a problem” I explain to her. “Many people in the world eat with their hands” and showed her the pictures of Korea, Vietnam and others.
I also explained that in my culture, when I have people at home, if I served them dinner alone in one room while I was having dinner with my family, they would be very insulted and I would probably never see them again.
The interpreter must have explained this, because the next day, the three wives came to have lunch with me in the little room, sitting on the floor was The interpreter told them that I had lived before in a family where there were many wives. In Papua New Guinea, there were five wives; “Five!” Are they Muslim? was the first question. Learning that polygamy is not Muslim initially. Why so many? they asked.
I explain to them, that in PNG, when a woman is pregnant and until the child is “so high” (3 years old about) the man cannot touch his wife. – This rule is first to assure that the wife will stay strong enough to do all the work and second to assure that the child will have better chance to live.
“Oh!” the three wives explain, “We would also like to have this rule!”
Family in Kiribati
Thank you so much Helene for taking the time to share your incredible life and your vision for humanity with us. I have learned a lot and I look forward to follow your Series LET'S MEET ON EARTH that you're hosting via ZOOM.
I invite you all to visit Helene's website:
www.letsmeetonearth.org to meet more than 140 amazing and different, yet similar families and discover the daily life of global citizens.
Helene has made an incredible work of gathering facts about people from the around the world, and she is not finish yet. As soon as traveling is authorized again, Helene will take her backpack and seek new adventures.
Besides the website, you can also follow Helene on:
Face Book :@letsmeetonearth