12.11.2010 33 °C
Last week I met a Khmer English Teacher, after a small chat, he invited me to go and see the poorer side of Sihanoukville.
So, we head off in the afternoon armed with pencils, books, notepads & crayons. We leave the bustling city center, drive down the Main road, past the Night market, finally arriving at a grim looking dirt track.
After a bumpy ride, trying to not hit a cow or a stray dog, we arrive at the end of the road. We get the crayons and pens out, and 20+ children come rushing out of the shacks, curious about their surprise visitors. They smile and thank us, many of them starting to draw a picture or write a story.
A crayon and a piece of paper is a beautiful thing in Cambodia, it brings smiles to childrens faces, hope to the poorer children who can't afford clothes, let alone an education.
The people here live in Handmade shacks made out of pieces of plastic, wood and tin. Their main source of revenue is fishing and catching anything edible. Life is harsh for these people, living hand to mouth, barely surviving on their meager salary.
My Khmer teacher friend informed me that most families living in the slums survive on less than a dollar a day.
We left the children to play with their new found crayons, promised to come back the next day. On the way home, I felt happy but frustrated at the same time.
Once you start scratching at Cambodia's surface many injustices appear. The Khmer elite couldn't care less about these people and are content to let them live in squalor whilst they drive by in their Air conditioned 80.000$ LandCruiser, whilst their poorer fellow countrymen are starving.
Ill upload the photos tomorrow, so keep checking out the blog.