Wow. I am blessed.
Not only because I’m clean from a shower I took in my own apartment with water for which I will receive a bill for which I will be able to pay… or even because I’m sitting on a bed with clean sheets and a fan overhead to cut the humidity and maintain a cool temperature… but also because I wandered through the community garden in Toul Sre today with a grinning 11 year old boy and a laughing two year old girl. He proudly showed me the bittergourd, which were ripe, which were not, how the plants grew, which were sick, which we could pick… ah, it was such fun. Then he led me out into an open field where butterflies were fluttering to and fro. He pointed out the field where more vegetables would be planted. He seemed so proud that he could teach me, and I was so proud of him for doing so. Before I left, he came up with a green plastic bag, full of bitter-gourd that we had picked together. He called my name, “Jan Ny,” as I’ve grown fond of hearing it said, and offered it to me with both of his hands outstretched. I was humbled by his gift- and his gesture- saying my name. Usually, he would have just called me “bong srey” (older sister), but he made the effort to adapt to my culture, and make sense to me. I treasured that… and the wave to me as I rode off on the back of Elizabeth’s moto. I may never see his face again on earth, but even if I can, I pray I’ll see that joyful boy in heaven.