Had a very interesting day to say the least… I want to apologize for not getting this posted yesterday as I was having some issues with the internet..
Got up and again packed a bag full of presents to give to the children that live in the orphanage behind the landmine museum. I met Eng out in front of the hostel and we headed out. It takes about 45min normally by tuk tuk… however today took us a while longer.
The drive is amazing because it takes you through Angkor Wat. Its absolutely gorgeous and peaceful.. You drive along the water and through all these wonderful little villages.
About 25 min into our journey….. we blew a tire. Normally this would have been a huge problem. However, as we rumbled down the road, Eng was able to coast the tuk tuk into a repair shop that just happened to be close.. This is where it got interesting.
There was a man laying in the hammock out front of the shop. It was obvious he also lived there. As we cam to a stop he poked his face out from under his hat and realized we needed his help. As he went to get up, he reached over the side of the hammock and picked up his crutches.. He jumped up and that is when I realized he was missing a leg. He was a below the knee amputee. I then noticed the wheel chair that was sitting slightly just inside the shop that was loaded with his tools.
The more I thought about what was happening, the more I realized that its not just coincidence. This is the reality…. More often than not, you will come across someone that has been in some way effected by landmines. That is almost the first thought you have when you see someone missing a limb or confined to a wheelchair. Sure enough, he had been in the Cambodian Army and lost his leg to a landmine in 1988.
I continue to gain perspective while I am here. As many people I have encountered through my times spent here…. There are still 3-5 million potential victims out there. There are that many mines or unexploded ordnance left in the ground. It almost seems unreal when you talk about it like that, but I have been seeing it and it continues to be more real every time.
After we got the tire fixed we headed to the museum where I was meeting Bill and Jill. I had the privilage of being able to walk with Bill as he gave guided tours. Every know and then I get to interject something and I would like to thank Bill for making me feel valued while I was there..
I went back to the school/orphanage and spent the rest of the day in the classrooms. Getting a better understanding of how they teach these students and what things are needed for the schools. I gained a lot from this as we are going to be building our own school pretty soon!!! I also handed out the presents and as usual, the children were super excited to play with everything in the bags..
I have said this at the end of everyday that I am here and I will continue to forever… I Had another amazing day and Im so at peace here….