The chaotic frenzy of every day life which continuously assaults the 5 senses was at a standstill today (election day). An almost eery silence had taken over PP. Even the scorching sun had disappeared behind a thick blanket of grey clouds spitting an an occasional light rain onto life below. The wind had picked up momentum dancing rubbish in all directions. All life seemed to move in slow motion, us included.
We slept in, just making it for breakfast and then took hours of nothingness before leaving our guest house. Not really sure what to do or where to go, we wandered aimlessly through the back-roads where pockets of life could still be observed. The emptiness of the city made it easy to move about. By 13h00 we arrived at the Central Market which was surprisingly more than half empty. We split up. Philippe and Noa searched for tools, scoring a kit for a total of 20USD. I purchased a bag of sweets made of local fruit for the kids and met up for grilled squid at one of the open stalls.
By 15h00 we had made it back to the orphanage and again were religiously greeted by a herd of hugs and warm smiles from 20 something kids. Another young couple was already there sorting a large box of medicine mostly outdated and missing instruction. There seems to be a thin line between their carefree way of going about not knowing and a real need for assistance from the outside world. They amazingly manage quite well with virtually nothing and paradoxically, aid from the outside seems to complicate their simplicity as they know it. With choice, with ”things” to desire because they are there at arms reach, with medication that they know nothing about life becomes complicated. ”Want what you have and you have what you want” is most certainly the best motto to live by in this culture; and most certainly in ours too!
Today yoga class began at 16h15, a good 45 minutes earlier than yesterday. The girls arrived eager bringing along Jaya, the director of the home. Class was light and playful with frequent visits from Noa and a few stray cats. We practised for 2.5 hours and towards the end all managed hand stand for a few quick deep breaths. They are incredibly grateful and loveable and most of all courageously fighting the demons of their past. I have finally managed to remember their names (for me more like unfamiliar sounds), which is essential in restoring their identity and for me connecting with a perosn, each one with a story of her own, a heart and a chance to be something, be someone. With more hugs than one would know what to do with, the 12 of them squeezed into a tuk tuk for 4 and headed off into the balmy evening hopefully a little happier, a little lighter.
There are success stories and thankfully many. We met Shrey Neth at the yoga centre, a spikey girl half my weight and 3/4 my height with a face of an angel. She greets me daily with ‘’hey, sweety!’’and a big squeeze, just enough sugar to melt your heart. Shrey Neth was sold into prostitution by her mother at the young age of 14 for a mere 300USD. For months, young Neth was forced into sex acts on a daily basis, physically beaten and emotionally abuse, eventually contracting HIV. Neth was left without any hope for the future. Hope made its way to Sry Neth when a human rights undercover effort recued her and placed her on a path of healing and opportunity. thanks to the guidance, counseling, training and support offered to her by Transitions Cambodia and the Transitional Living Centre she has reagianed her destiny. Neths’ dream was to become a teacher, and she is now working as a employee and international spokesperson. Each day Neth’s voice ressonates with the girls that shehlpes consel and console and the people she can make aware of this world-wide atrocity.
So until soon, may you be well, want what you have and drop us a line when you have a moment.