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Published: August 4th 2008
I know, two blogs in one day, but as I went to pay the rain started falling so fast that I could barely see the street I am supposed to cross, let alone all the critters the rain will surely bring to it's surface.
I want to tell you all about the man on the bike. It's been well over a week we left Cambodia, but still our experiences there are talked about daily. I think mostly because Cambodia was unexpected and took us by storm. Not because there was a tremendous amount to do there, because other than Angkor Wat, there is nothing but poverty and rice paddies. The people won us over and everything else has really not been close to it's expectations.
Picture it, Kampot, Cambodia, about two weeks ago. We were on our way down our first attempt to climb into the depths of the jungle. The bike ride home was surely going to bring us all down to our knees, begging for cold water and cold showers. First we go up a hill, then down, then slowly back up. There were three men on bikes we kept passing, but one stuck out. He was bringing back wood from the jungle, a common job in the village. The wood weighed about 20-40 pounds each and he had three pieces. They were atached to the right side of his bike, tied to his handle bar and the pole of his seat. The wood stretched out about 4 feet in front of the bike and 3 feet behind it. The wood blocked his right foot from peddling so he rested it on top of the wood, pedaling with just his left foot with no shoes on. Up and down these hills, for miles, with one foot, in the mid day heat. I remember him so clearly, mostly because he passed us a few times (I know, sad, but we stopped for water). I would like to have found out his name and heard his story. I can't imagine doing that everyday, maybe even several times a day, just to feed my family. Kids in our country have so many hopes and dreams and I wonder if the kids in Cambodia have dreams too and what they are, and when do they find out that almost all of them are dreams they will never reach just because of the place of their birth.
Rain hasn't let up yet, one of the downsides to traveling during the wet season, but there are still a few uneaten MMs remaining in the room, a little appetiser before dinner.
Kristin Van Gogh (I'm still feeling pretty creative)
PS Rumor has it I'll be teaching third grade at the Brooks next year. I know, hard to believe Thai people are talking about school placements in the MPS, but what can I say. I have not heard anything official so it may be complete rubbish.
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