Saturday, 6 December 2008


Somewhere in May this year, I did a post on TONLE SAP LAKE of Cambodia here , the largest freshwater lake in South East Asia. It was with Tracy of Hey Harriet on the issue of Bloggers Unite for Human Rights. My trip to Cambodia gave me mixed feeling, seeing the ancient civilisation of Angkor Wat which was 1000 years old and other temples reminded me how young Malaysia was. When I was at the Tonle Sap lake, I was sad to see so much poverty beyond many imangination and Cambodia remains as one of the poorest country in the world. I know I am late for Thanksgiving but I am thankful for so many things. Some of the pictures have been posted before but not for a SSS. The average poor Cambodian earns USD1.00 a day and the same amount feed an entire family. In Tonle Sap, 70% are illegal Vietnamese and most have their children beg for the family. School is free but they can't afford to buy clothing or shoes. Most had to choose between filling the belly for that day compared to educating a child. Life is fairly simple and cruel, you don't beg and with no money for the day, the entire family goes hungry.

My wonderful friend Marja of DUTCHCORNER has provided a poem for this SSS post and she has captured what I felt exactly. All pictures were taken from Tonle Sap Lake, Cambodia.

by Marja

He smiles but a riverbed
of silenced tears end on his face
where hope has died
where trust has depart
The hand of the begging child is empty
as is his heart

A child living in the shadow of live
where demons of poverty and exploitation
try to get him in his grip so tight
till he stops fighting and loses control
The hand of the begging child is empty
as is his soul

The beautiful mind of a Cambodian child
won’t be nourished by food and education
no pathways grow towards a fruitful future
his cleverness declined
The hand of the begging child is empty
as is his mind

A boy, a landmine victim
like a tree cut from live
lost his limb and a living
he sits down, the one called outcast
His troubled eyes looked at me however
The hand of the begging child is empty
Is it Forever?

Poverty and sadness aside, Cambodia is a must visit country if you are around this region. You just can't miss seeing the Angkor Wat, this picture was taken just after the rain and being inside the Angkor was just pure magical. Angkor Wat was the only West facing temple, many said in honour of the Hindu Lord Vishnu and this was before Buddhism was embraced.

Have a blessed weekend everyone, I shan't complain of no holidays or floods here for the moment :)

p.s. In case you are wondering, both children in the pictures 2 and 3 were holding a pet snake ;p