Monday, 11 June 2007

3rd June - Bantrey Kdei & Sunrise Village Orphanage

We tried calling some orphanages that we had found online but to no avail so Vandy said he could drive us to one and we could make an appointment to come back later and find out what to bring for the children. He took us to Sunrise Orphanage and the director told us that if we come back at 2pm we can see the children perform an Apsara dance and afterwards we could play and talk to them. So we thought we would go off to our last visit of a couple more temples and then come back. First we headed out to Bantrey Kdei as there were some more of the stone faces that Nick wanted to photograph. As it was out third day walking around the temples I don’t think we were able to appreciate it as much as we should but again it was amazing, huge and mind blowing.
We headed back to the Angkor Cafe for a quick lunch before stopping off at a convenience store to buy some little gifts for the children. There wasn’t a lot of choice but in the end we chose some huge bags of sweets to share and loads of glitter pens and pencils.
It is hard to describe our visit to the orphanage. In many ways it was like something out of a movie. First the children did their dancing which was beautiful and funny too. Then we were given a sort of tour and were then allowed to just spend some time with the children. We handed out the small gifts and one thing that impressed me most was when I held out a handful of these pens with the children gathered around me not one of them grabbed for it, not even the tiny ones, they all just gently took one and every last one of them said thank you to me. Nick sat at a table and drew pictures for them and some of the older ones just wanted to practise their English sentences on us. Most of the little ones just wanted to be picked up and held. Many times we all had lumps in our throats, especially for Nick and I when we met a beautiful girl the same age as Candace who told us she had been there for five years. The children are so very polite and really look out for each other, the older ones taking care of the little ones. As we got back into the tuk tuk after our visit nothing much was said, we were all rather quiet. Quiet and with a massively changed perspective on life.
It was hard to enjoy our meal that night as all we have seems too much. I didn’t even want to think about our previous life in France. It seemed so unfair that we should have way too much and these children, our children’s age, should have so little.

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