Hardships of a gentle woman in Cambodia

Hi all,

We made it through our second five-hour bus drive. This time around we were on a nicer bus and the driver was not playing the game of “let’s see how close I can get to other moving things, such as cars, motorcycles or pedestrians without hitting them.” Naza told our bus driver, as we were deboarding in Phnom Penh, “You are a good driver.” He had a pleasant smile on his face as he heard her say that.

The most moving part of our trip to the beach for Naza was to make a connection with a lady who is about 40 and makes a few dollars a day giving massages to people on the beach. She gave Naza a fool massage yesterday, but this is not the reason Naza will remember this lady — it was her kindness, shy smile, gentle way in which she conducts herself, but most of all, her battle to try to provide for her two children, with one skill she managed to learn well. But we are sure it is never enough, and her husband’s many hours of construction work every day with a miserly salary does not help improve things a whole lot more.

I know now that I will make a trip to Sinhanoukville sometime in my future trips to Cambodia in order to deliver some small gifts to this lady, whose name  I can’t remember, which will be carefully wrapped by my wife. I don’t know what it is but we Trindades have a soft spot for the poor and disadvantaged. And we have certainly seen a fair amount of representatives of both classes in the last week here.

Tonight we went to my favorite restaurant with Pheakdey, her husband Kosal, and their 4 year old son, Pagna. We ate steamed whole fish with lots of garlic, my favorite dish, tom yam soup with shrimp and fried rice with shrimp. We also had my favorite drink anywhere, freshly squeezed lemonade, with hot water topped with ice and lots of sugar. “Techroichima. I missed you so much!” Okay that’s an approximation of how you say the name of the drink. You just have to try it some time.

We had the opportunity to talk to several of the staff at the Orchidee Guest house in Sihanoukville, as they always seemed so friendly and ever so eager to practice their English. We try to tell them in as simple a manner as we can who we are and what we do. We tell them about our church’s home for orphaned children in Battambang and let them know that it is the love of God through Christ that motivates us to love these children even though they live so far away from us. Somehow I hope that some little seed of the message of Christ will lodge itself in their brains and hearts and produce  transformation that will be satisfying into eternity.

All, we have another 5-6 hour bus trip tomorrow, to Battambang, home of “Grace Place.” Better hit the sac.

Ivanildo C. Trindade