After leaving Cambodia, it was not the magnificent temples that haunted my memories, nor the beautiful beaches, it was not the delicious food either, it was the people. The people of Cambodia are warm, friendly, hospitable, and radiating with charm.
photo taken: boy at CCPP in Sihanoukville, where the children can just melt your heart.
I must apologize for the delay in posting as I attended a most inspiring event in Denmark for the last week about a template of peace for world youth. I will be posting the past due entries back to back in the next few days to catch up with that as well as with comments
Thank you so much for continuing to comment and view the blog during my intermittent presence.
photo: a little girl in Sihanoukville who is attending the program of the CCPP (Cambodian children’s painting project). I watched her for days as she painted so elegantly and with so much quiet concentration. It was a delightful scene to witness. Projects like this offer such a great opportunity for children to find a better future through art. What a great example for an ‘art that does something’!
It is a great wonder how we humans who live on this planet can look so different. We belong to different races, these races or tribes have different skin color, body shapes, average heights, eye color, face shape, voice, hair, strength… and the list goes on. But something that unites us all is what comes in and out of the eyes no matter what color or shape they are. It has been said that all creatures that have eyes possess a soul. Maybe that which lives inside each of us that we cannot see is using our eyes to communicate and to see. When someone wants you to be honest with them, they ask you to look them straight in the eyes, because the eyes, or what looks through the eyes, is not able to lie. The truth of us, of who we are and of what lives inside us has the eyes for its gateway. If electrical impressions can come in to the eyes, then it would suggest that they can come out in the same way. So much mystery lives in our very own human design…
photo taken: a little girl learning to draw faces at CCPP in Sihanoukville.
In Sihanoukville there is a bright and wonderful project growing that brings hope and a better future for hundreds of children. The Cambodian Children’s Painting Project enrolls children in a program where their local staff and volunteers instruct them daily in painting, arts, and basic learning and help them to sell their artwork in order to have a better life away from the streets. I had the great chance to spend a few days with the children and staff of ccpp where my face hurt from the constant smiling, because being around such a bright endeavor, the only thing you can really do is smile. Happy children, joyful and caring instructors, warm volunteers, beautiful art, just a wonderful environment!
photo taken: Children during an english class at CCPP in Sihanoukville.
Every single place I have been to around the world has shown me that the local people are the tarot of that place. They are the ones who process its energies, who live with the angels of that land and who give expression to its unseen worlds.
Whatever mystery and beauty radiates out of Cambodia is clearly seen twinkling in the eyes of its people, especially the children. It is their warm smiles that stay with you and make you dream of going back. Yes, it is a beauty that goes much beyond the physical surface, and their bright eyes are just gateways to a whole other world awaiting to be discovered.
photo taken: girl at the CCPP center in Sihanoukville, a fantastic project aiding Cambodian children to make a future through art. I encourage you to explore their website and their inspiring work. I will be posting quite a few photos from there this month.
Working children is a concept that is becoming more and more foreign to us in the western world, but in developing countries, young children are often forced to join the work force. I find myself showing these images to my daughter on several occasions when a reality check and a need for the right perspective on life is needed.
These boys were paused near one of the wall murals that UNICEF paints on the city streets to educate children through art. It seems to be the right way to deliver a message, as I saw the children totally absorbed in deciphering the message until they saw me and diverted their attention to act playful for the camera.
I have seen again and again that despite war circumstances, no matter how tough it gets, people try to retain a sense of normalcy in their day to day life. In Congo, everyone’s hair seems to be carefully colored, styled, braided and impressive looking. I loved seeing all the different hair dressers salons around town in Goma painted with colorful murals and boasting their professional services in every neighborhood. It is a sight I keep going back to when my mind wanders back to Congo.