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Saturday, April 22, 2006


Getting enough water?

La has been doing classes in computing as part of his studies. He has been learning about the internet and using programs such as Internet Explorer and Outlook Express. However, his studies are done in Kompong Chhnang where internet connection can only be done by long-distance telephone and the cost is prohibitive except for emergencies. When La uses these programs, he uses them on a local area network.

I wanted him to have some experience of what the internet has to offer so a few weeks ago I shouted him a day with me in Phnom Penh. He had three hours of surfing.

When he arrived at my room in the morning, I was pouring some water into the bottle I use on a daily basis. It occurred to me that I never see him drink water when he is away from home. For that matter, I don't see many of my Khmer friends drink water. I said to him, 'Do you want a bottle of water to take with you?' He did. It then occurred to me that the reason I don't see them drinking water is the cost.

Most homes have a pump to bring water up from under the ground. A few have a filter to make that water drinkable. Some just boil it. It probably wouldn't pass as drinkable water in a Western country but that is what most seem to have. And when they are away from home they go without. Perhaps they have learned to do so out of necessity. The cost of bottled water seems low enough to me but with their limited income it is a luxury.

As we left my room, there was Lee in the room opposite, sitting with a drip in his arm. 'Are you OK?' I asked.

'No,' he answered. 'I don't drink enough water.'


If you read my blog often, you might remember that I mentioned a book I was reading at my son, David's house before I left Australia in February. The book is 'Becoming your own therapist' by Lama Yeshe. The book, in my opinion, gives the essence of what the Buddha taught and how it relates to our daily lives. I highly recommend it and have recently discovered that you can download it (and a lot of other good stuff) for free from here: http://www.buddhanet.net/ebooks_ms.

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