Near the end of the trip though i got smacked in the face with a feeling of ‘why them,not me. Why should all these lovely people have been born into this life and not me? Why do they get this?’ It was an incredibly overwhelming feeling and one that resulted in me having this moment on a tuktuk with the team. It literally just smacked me in the face.
Our first day on the trip was a big one. Off the plane at 9am after a 15 hour flight from Brisbane > Singapore > Phnom Penh, straight into a tuktuk, to the hotel we were staying, quickly get changed, get activities, back in tuktuk and straight off to the SHE office and home.
My activity for the first day with the girls was origami, the kusudama flower! I posted about them here pre trip.
It was a lovely afternoon, sitting in a circle to start and introducing ourselves. The girls all saying their names in English, age (laughing at how old some of us are!) and our favourite colour. We then sang songs and split up into teams for cooking, craft and de-licing time.
It was pretty hectic at first. There were about 12 girls all at once doing crafts/kusudama flower with me for the first round – I wasn’t expecting that. Well I didn’t know what to expect really haha! Each girl was given a pack I’d prepared of paper, glue,straws for the stem and minties – just cause their delicious 🙂
A lot of the girls seemed to understand it pretty quick as the translator interpreted me speaking the instructions and they were off creating petals. Some saying it was too hard but then still going and doing it really well in the end, finishing them with no instructions at all – so impressive!
There was one small little group of girls though where they were rushing! Wanting to perfect it straight away and one of them was getting frustrated and began to mimic me in Khmer as I said now make a petal, there are 5 petals per flower. It went on for a little bit as she bossed me into making her flowers but by the end of making a few for her and a couple of the girls around her having walked away, she grabbed the made flowers from me and left to the other room.
The next time we went to the home we’d swapped tasks and I was on cooking, making some marshmallow flowers and funny lolly faces on some arnots biscuits. The girls split into 3 groups coming through cooking at separate times and they all seemed to enjoy it- probably more so the lolly bag they all got given though haha. The same little girl from yesterday however came in with the 2nd group, grabbed her lolly bag, scowled at me and left. I didn’t say anything I just thought oh ok and kept cooking with the other girls.
We finished cooking and then after all the crafts and cooking was done we headed outside to play some games.
One of the games we played was 2 lines of 9 lined up on either side facing each other and a witches hat in the middle. The idea is that each line of 9 is given the same number and then when that number is called, one from either side have to run into the middle and the first one to grab the cone wins.
Well, our team leader counted the numbers on each side and I was number 6. Guess which girl on the other side was also number 6!!! Unbelievable. As soon as she realised we were both number 6, we looked at each other and she did a huge smile and giggled and I blurted out, it’s on and pointed my fingers at my eyes then her eyes haha. She laughed. Yay!!!!
Needless to say the rest of the game was so much fun, racing in to get the cone, then swapping and having to race in as a monkey, on one leg, jumping in – just so much fun – and all the more fun because of how it ended up! Something I will remember for a long time.
I think this reminded me that sometimes you don’t know the full story. What you have been told about someone’s situation is completely different for you than for them – you can’t fully understand what someone has been through.
But what you can do is just be there. Be present and just be around. And I have no idea what these little girls had been through fully, as well as the fact that I’m someone coming in for a short period of time. Just there to come in and have fun with them, smile – and have them smile back 🙂
It really brought to me how God is always working. We don’t have to understand everything or know the reasons why or why not something has happened. Each of us is placed here for a reason – He is always working, even when it doesn’t look like it or feel like it at times. And I think that’s when he’s working at His best!
“we don’t know what tomorrow holds, but we know who holds tomorrow”