Latest posts by Martin Moodie (see all)
- Around the world in 80 (or so) days - May 15, 2022
- Cannes on steroids and gobsmacked in an airport wonderland - May 11, 2022
- A sneak preview of a new wonder of the world - May 10, 2022
Sometimes you just have to take the blows – and the blues – on the chin. And sometimes you have to keep things in perspective.
I write with mixed emotions two days on from the ‘Turning Tears into Smiles’ dinner on behalf of cleft charity The Smile Train here in Hong Kong. What a night it was. What beautiful, poignant speeches were given by The Smile Train China’s Shell Xue (left in picture below) and the 16-year-old Wang Li (centre), who at the age of nine was the first child to have her cleft operated on by a Smile Train-funded doctor in China.
It was a lovely and hugely successful evening, which raised way over US$250,000 (final numbers are still being worked out) and saw the travel retail industry in the best possible light. At just US$250 for the 45-minute cleft surgeries that The Smile Train funds, that is a lot of children who will have their lives transformed.
The weekend coincided with the Rugby World Cup quarter finals in France and Wales and many industry representatives from various teams watched the games the night after the charity dinner.
For the France v New Zealand match The Moodie Report was in the company of two Frenchmen, Laurent Funel of Samsonite (seen wearing a South African jersey for some reason), and Christophe Marque of Scental, as well as Englishman Eddie Forrest of BeneFit Cosmetics (wearing white after the English triumph v Australia earlier).
Readers know what happened next. For Laurent and Christophe it was a story with a happy ending. For The Moodie Report Publisher, it was despair as the French pulled off a spectacular and deserved victory 18-16.
But is it despair? No, it’s just a game, and when the night before you have heard a young teenager, shaking with nerves, have the courage to speak in front of a 300-strong audience about how she used to cry herself to sleep every night because of her cleft palate, a rightful perspective is restored.
So, allez les bleus and allez The Smile Train. When you hear stories like Wang Li’s you know that life is too short not to smile every day.