One day while at the SOC Alex (on the left) and I had the pleasure of meeting a delightful Hong Kong family who had kindly chosen to visit and make a donation to the children’s home.
It was hot that day, so we took shelter in the office – fan powered by a solar unit on the roof – and we discussed a lot of things. I guess its true that when strangers from other nations meet, we quickly find common points of interest. We talked about China and its differences with Hong Kong, and about different forms of education. The son, a bright student of 14, was I’m sure, looking at the circumstances he was seeing in Cambodia and imagining what it would be like growing up here.
For my part I was thinking about my mother in law, who lives with my partner and I, and the life she had seen growing up in mide-Century China, near Gaungzhou. She witnessed the Japanese invasion and walked, as a child, hundreds of kilometers to find safety. I think it was a visit to her home village in the mid 1990s that prepared me in some way for my first journey to Cambodia in 2004. Everything connects doesn’t it?
A highlight of the visit was when we introduced the family to student Kimsan and we asked questions about her life, and about her hopes and ambitions. Kimsan took the photo above.
After the family made their kind donation – Alex records all gifting: out system is making our income streams transparent – we walked around the children’s home (the children were having lunch) and said our goodbyes, though the offer was made to leave the son here in exchange for one of “our” students. No?
But seriously, we did invite the visiting student back given that his high school – as is practice with many Asian high schools – will probably require him to undertake a ‘social good’ project. He would be most welcome.
It was a real pleasure to meet this generous family.