So as many of you folks know I am taking care of kids who are either orphaned or are orphaned part-time due to financial problems their parents face. Many of the children here have been abused and have special needs. Others are just another mouth to feed which can prove difficult when their parents’ income comes from collecting plastic bottles in land fills. Many are just migrating slum kids who, sadly, will end up as their parents.
I had heard a lot about the “parents” — how poor, how non-caring they were, etc. As I am the kind of person who likes to see for herself the situation before I make any judgements or conclusions on anything, I volunteered to take this one child home for a few days, as there is some Cambodian law that requires that, and who ever the person is that is in charge has to stay for those days. Fine. I can sleep anywhere and on anything so that doesn’t bother me. And, I love to meet people who speak Klingon or any other language. I have found out I am really good at charades this past week.
So after biking five miles with a heavy backpack and in some 100% humidity — where I thought I was gonna die just from the bike ride — I arrived at a village I can neither pronounce or spell, apparently in time for dinner.
I met this child’s father doing what he does every day around four — cooking.
Oh, yummy, I thought to myself. I am really loving the food here and after a five-mile bike ride? Totally thinking of food. Well, to make a long story short — there are certain foods being cooked here in the rural parts of Cambodia I am not interested in trying. Frog legs yesterday — no problem.
Pet dog who ran with me in rice patty earlier in the morning? Problem. I guess, I wasn’t starving after all…