The Smiing People

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We arrived in Siem Reap, Cambodia at 6.30 and it was already dark. Our journey had been better than previous ones. But long flights are taking their toll on me now and after 18 hours of flying it was enough. But as soon as I stepped on Cambodian soil my spirit lifted. It is hard to say what it is about this country but I have yet to meet someone not touched by the place and its people. What I was aware of, having been here during rainy season in the past, was that it would be wet. But I had not anticipated the devastation and deaths the flooding had caused. Our tuk tuk waded through flooded roads, where people were struggling back with their wares. Children were splashing about happily in the deep waters and waving to us. As always the Cambodian people are accepting their lot. There is no complaining here. No one cares if you are the height of fashion, whether you are rich or poor. These are people rich in good karma, they are cheerful in the face of hopelessness. They have hope when there is no hope and they are the smiling people. They will offer you food when they barely have enough to go around for their own family.

I’m thrilled to be back. To visit my sponsored child Pesai tomorrow is a highlight for me. Where we will play pass the parcel and I know I will have them squeal with delight at the clothes I have brought. They will try them on immediately and thank me with such gratitude that it will bring tears to my ears. These are children that have avoided hand foot and mouth disease, dengue fever, near starvation and loss of family. They will give me food, drink and hugs.  

Today was spent catching up with family and phoning friends and of course photographing the people I love so much.

Monsoons are predicted in the next few days and having lost my Nikon in a previous one several years ago I think I may just leave it at home.

Here are some picturess of a country that is so beautiful that it is impossible not to be moved.

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