As I come close to the end of the month’s posts about Cambodia, I realize that my thoughts and contemplations throughout this process have been with children, the future, and next steps towards a better world. What would it take to make this world a place safe enough and healthy enough for the children of the world? Who has the answers? What can each one of us do to ensure the unlocking of our children’s best potential? … and so many more questions…
When a small child looks at me and holds my stare, I can’t help but wonder ‘what’ looks out of those eyes. Unburdened by personality traits and identity, small children can look deep into your soul with a strange kind of knowing, soul to soul.
Chou Maily, 14 years old when I met him at CCPP, painted with so much love and so much dedication, that those qualities radiated out of his handsome face. I was invited to his family home for an interview during my stay and there I was awed to see evidence of his passion adorning the walls of their humble and lovely home.
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.
Photo taken: Lotus fruit seller in Sihanoukville, Cambodia
Every single child carries in them a great potential for the future. The future is unknown, it has not happened yet and each little new life has the possibility to create a better chance for a life that is nearer to human purpose. Yes to helping them lead us to this new world…
photo taken: a little girl at her home in Sihanoukville~ Cambodia
Her little home is built on stilts, her bed is a mattress on the floor, her feet are bare, her dreams are of faraway places, her toy is a red balloon, she holds on to it for dear life…
Girl in Sihanoukville~ Cambodia
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.