For a good cause

For a good causeThe River Garden makes wonderful breakfasts like most but served in an enclosed lush courtyard toward the back of the guest-house. The sun was already quite strong when we headed out on foot through the centre of town, across a few open air markets making our way dead east in search of the Green Gecko, a local NGO run by an Australian. We did receive some vague directions via our phone call and trusted that someone would be able to guide us along the way if lost. After an hour of following their directions ”walk  past  the local high school continue down the road, turn onto a dirt road half way down then make a right then a left then a right then a left and somewhere in the middle of rice paddies you will find us but there is no sign.”  We were lost, well kinda because I believe that one can’t get lost if one doesn’t know where one is going in the first place.

A huge storm was preparing, the wind picked up which is a tell all sign and sure enough within minutes, the sky was black pelting rain drops bigger than gummy bears onto the population below. We sought shelter in an open air movie theatre which I had mentioned in a previous mail is probably more interesting for a westerner than the movie (s) itself! Picture a thatched roof shading some 40-50 plastic lounge chairs occupied mostly by  men eating rice and dried fish, smoking strong tobacco and drinking coca cola. With 7-8 different TV screens (no flat plasma screens just a few 30″) blaring 7-8 different voices and 7-8 different images from Discovery Channel to Top Gun, there is choice and choice in this case gives one a major headache!

Storm came, storm went leaving only one obvious sign- water and lots of it! We never made it to the Green Gecko on foot, they had to come get us with a tuk tuk and as we ”turned onto a dirt road made a right and then a left and then a right and arrived in the middle of some rice paddies”. I realised that what seemed so simple to them was just so difficult to us. The Green Gecko Project is doing some amazing work. A Cambodian NGO working with street kids employing only Khmer staff. Sustainability is the key and so is respecting Khmer traditions.

”For a good cause”. There are so many ways to make a difference in Cambodia and certainly most other disadvantaged countries too. Give blood, shop responsibly, donate one’s time, one’s skills, one’s heart or one’s money. One can also dine or sleep in community aware cafés and guest houses. Every little act of goodness counts around the clock, around the heart, around the world.

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