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Monday, July 31, 2006


A beggar in the classroom

A funny thing happened during my monks' class one day last week that wouldn't happen in Australia. A guy appeared at the door. He looked a bit scruffy but clean and was carrying a briefcase. I didn't talk to him because I knew he wouldn't understand me. (My Khmer is still almost nonexistent.) He stood there for a minute, I'm trying to ignore him but waiting, expecting him to interrupt. Then he took a step inside got down on his knees and started bowing to the monks. He was begging. He must have very low expectations as the monks are committed to a life of poverty. A couple of them gave him a little money and then he left. That's life in Cambodia.


Changes, changes

I had seriously considered moving on from Kompong Chhnang and Cambodia and perhaps in a month or two I might. However, in the mean time I have decided to make some changes to see if that will make me want to stay longer. I feel there is a lot I can do here, just need to get my act together.

As of Friday, just passed, I have given up teaching at Wat Xam. This week I intend to move into a house which I am renting on a monthly basis. I have decided to make the priority for my time to learn to speak Khmer. After a week or two I will consider if I can also teach one or two classes in English. If so, the house I am renting has a small classroom underneath. I will teach there. There is a small group of students who work hard and are keen to work with me some more. I will have no trouble getting a small class or two together.

Watch this space for more on the changes in my lifestyle.

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