Thursday, 17 January 2013

# 24: “ It's the Little Moments that make Life BIG.”

Another 2 weeks have zoomed by - hmmm, seems like duty is interfering with blogging..

When I returned home from Phnom Penh after New Year, my little log cabin was wearing so much Battambang dust'n'dirt that it looked like it hadn't been lived in for years.
And that was inside, with all the windows closed...
Instant Reality Check ! Holidays are over.
So, the next few days were taken up with much wiping, dusting, sweeping, washing - floors & clothes, and general, tedious cleaning.

Then back to a beautiful welcoming commitee at the Youth Centre - I don't think the kids believed I was coming back until I actually walked into the room...
Drowning in HUGS !!

On the following weekend, I finally got to go for a ride out to Chantha's home in Khum Chroy Sdau (the commune), 3-up on  Chhaiya's motorbike.
Nikum Prea Si Ha Nu Village is about 40km NNE of Battambang and, apart from seeing one of the ever-present roaming dogs get killed by a passing car, it was a beautiful trip.

I met Chhaiya's family:
        Mum                                Dad                              Cchaiya                           
               Ratanak                          Rena                         Chan Tra Both               

stayed at Chantha's home..

and met just a few of Chantha's family - she has 9 siblings...

     Chantha & Mum                     Dad & Labin             her  94 yr old Grandma                Chantha & her old Maths teacher    Baby Labin - neice #3                  Virey - neice #1           

We wandered around the rice paddies..

 until sunset..

and the next morning, after a stunning sunrise...

enjoyed a wonderful breakfast picked from the multitude of fruit trees around the house. There are bananas, milfruit, mango, papaya, cashews, coconuts, passionfruit and more that I can't even name. Then Chantha took me for a walk to see the rest of her village.

First stop, the Pagoda next door:
Then the 'hospital' across the road:

and finally, her old primary school - not sure if the name is such a good choice though, even if it was named after the man who donated the funds to build it...
The entrance             The Clumsy Hans School              Classrooms
   Virey at the water pump          lovely grounds           Best basketball ring EVER

Then back to Cchaiya's to enjoy the magnificent lunch he'd prepared for us - among other things, he's is a great cook.

Back to Battambang in time for dinner at one of my growing list of favourite restaurant/cafes.The 'identity-confused' Ganesha.
Named after a Hindu god, owned by a German, serving Khmer & Western cuisine.
Kind of indicative of BtB really... 

This week we had a visit from a lovely lady who sponsors a couple of our children. She visits twice a year and, while she's here, does craft sessions with all the kids.
They enjoyed it so much, especially the Youth Centre kids who, I suspect, have never done anything like it before...
I love doing craft with kids - it was so simple and they were absolutely enthralled!

We finally got to do "Where The Wild Things Are" - one of my all time favourites and, now, a great favourite of our Grade 3's as well. When I named all the Wild Things in the story after the children and asked them to show me how ferocious they could be, they were hilarious, and extremely LOUD. 
Probably should have given that idea a little more thought, apologies to the class next door...

And today was "Ice Cream Day" for the Youth Centre kids...our totally Ethical, monthly 'this-is-not-a-bribe-but-a-reward' day.
I left with 12 freshly washed, smiling kids and returned with 12 deliriously happy, somewhat hyperactive, chocolate-coated children.

 What fun !!

 and who new fish liked cornettos....

I know I like boys with flowers in their hair

and children who just love each other......Aaaw

This adorable little girl had to have her head shaved to help a nasty skin infection. She was so embarrassed, she started wearing a towel, wrapped around her little head. When I bought her this scarf, all the other kids started telling her how beautiful she looked -
 " look like a Mongol princess.." 
Now they all want one just like hers - no problem says I, just come over here so I can shave your head.... "Aaah, NO! I don't want my hair cut off!"
Fits of giggling..
As always, the spirit of these beautiful children rushes into my heart and warms my soul. They tease each other, like all children, but when they can see one of them is really hurting they become gentle, thoughtful & loving.
It's an absolute pleasure to behold.

This weekend we're off to Phnom Penh to celebrate the Daiquiri Diva's birthday - cause parties in PP are such a hoot...

I may or may not return to write another post in a few days...


  1. Sounds like the perfect, kiddy cuddles, a trip to the country, storytelling and crafts. Can't wait to hear about your weekend in PP. You are quite the party animal these days! 6 weeks and 30 minutes till I get on a plane! xxxx

  2. You better believe it baby Girl - this could be that 2nd childhood I've heard so much about - Seems I'm regressing in stages...up to (or BACK TO) early 20s so far..
    I think even you may be a little surprised/stunned by my latest escapade.
    Building suspense here...
    Do I blog about it or make you wait for 6 weeks ?
    Decisions, decisions...