Cambodia has hit my heart the hardest out of all of the places we’ve been. This place, it’s heavy. It’s gorgeous, but heavy. After another morning of touring some of the most amazing temples, we asked our driver and tour guide to take us to an orphanage. I had seen so many children in need of love that I needed to give something in some way. I didn’t even know what I could give, I just wanted to give something. Our guide knew of an orphanage where his friend taught English, he said it was a place in need of so much. Their primary funding came from a foreigner who was aging, he was near his end. Their funds would run out and he didn't know what would come of the children when the money was gone. So he took us to a local market, pointed out what we should buy - paper, pens, shampoo, soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes. The things I take for granted. The things used for learning, cleaning, staying healthy. Basic. Toren screamed that he wanted stuff. Try explaining this shopping trip to a 2 year old. We did our best.
Our driver took us down the bumpiest of dirt roads. Was it even a road? We patiently waited for the skinny cows to get out of our way. They didn’t want to, but they eventually gave in. What is it with these Cambodian cows?
When I didn’t think the tuk tuk could handle the dirt road any longer, we arrived at the orphanage. Tin structures. Tattered tarps. Shoeless children running, sitting, waiting…waiting for what? Chickens. A beat up soccer ball. Dirt. And then the signs of a classroom. A poster of vegetables in English. The alphabet. We got out of our tuk tuk. What would they think of us just showing up? I didn’t think of that. Is this even ok? Am I doing this for them or for me? I can’t tell but I would like to cry. They greeted us graciously.
They wanted us to sit down. Why didn’t we? We felt a little self-conscious I think. We should have sat down. Stayed a while. Played. But we didn’t want to interrupt. We just showed up. Were we being rude?
And then the children stole my heart. Their eyes. I told a girl I liked her skirt and she just stared at me. I really did like her skirt. And the little boy I saw, I wanted to bring him home with me. I think that’s how you feel when you stare into the deep brown eyes of a child in a poor country with no parents. You want to save him.
I climbed back in my tuk tuk with my hired driver and tour guide, my husband and our smiling son. We drove back down that dirt road, past the naked children running down the streets, through the skinny cows staring us down, over the bumpiest of bumps.
That evening I walked around the grounds of our hotel while hauntingly beautiful funeral music played just a few hundred yards away. It had been playing for the entire day. My son falling fast asleep on my shoulder while the rain poured down on us. The magnitude of the day. It was heavy.
This is one of the strangest photos from our travels. We are all looking in so many directions, thinking so many things.
If you are interested, they are in need of the following (contact me for details):
Uniform for school 27 kids , 8.5$ X 27 children=283.5$ ,
30 chairs x 11$ =330$
Building the circle and pole flag 165$ infront of English school .
Computers 10 x 450$ = 4500$
Sewing machine 250$ x 5 = 1250$ for girls
Cement table eating food of the kids 340$
Rice 10B /500kg x30$ =300$
Seed vegetable 50$
Chicken seed 3$ x 100chicken = 300$
Duck seed2.5 x 100 ducks =250$
Meals of ducks and chicken for one pack 20$aweek/ months 80$ x 3month=240$