Day 88: lotus fields and my crabby self

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Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap
February 1st 2019
Published: February 2nd 2019
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Lotus flowerLotus flowerLotus flower

100% useable and sustainable
Lotus are a flower that grows prosperously in Cambodian ponds and are a beautiful scenery addition. The amazing thing about the flower is 100% of it is usable in some process: teas, thread (clothing), fruit, lip balm, paper and on and on and on. The most common use of the lotus is to cut apart the stem and pull the vertical fibers running through it out and make thread out of it. The thread can then be used to produce clothing. It is soft like silk and doesn’t harm animals in the process. However, it is incredibly time consuming. In one day a skilled worker can make 250 meters of thread. However, it takes 12,000 meters of thread to make one jacket (that is 48 days for some quick math). The thread then needs to be processed and weaved together to create 5 yards of material! Based on some mental and cacaluator math to make 10 jackets, it would take 480 days to create thread, 12 days to process the thread, 60 days to weave the thread, and then the actual sewing. It was memorizing to watch these women’s hands move as they cut a handful of stems, pulled out fibers, rolled it into their already existing thread, wet down their table and cut the stems again. We biked out to the lotus fields and the water levels were pretty low and the flowers weren’t in bloom, but it was easy to see how it would be a beautiful sight around that time. My greatest struggle today was getting out of my own head. So many thoughts and feelings regarding this trip, Cambodia, leaving wanted to vie for attention, but all my brain could do was focus on the garbage on the road, the muck in the river, the houses and workers around the lotus fields next to these beautiful bungalows that you could rent for $2 as people went along living their lives making $0.75 per day. All of it was just a distraction my brain was drawn to to fixate and get angry, frustrated or annoyed about instead of just acknowleding my feelings and being with them. The power of the brain to distract, shift focus, and leave the present moment is a technological wonder of the world. I definitely owe more into the jerk jar back home for myself today.


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