“(…) My friend, he bought some land from the goverment. He planted rubber trees and cut some forest to built up houses with the wood, to rent them to the village people. Still half of the land is untouched. And he asked me to work for him, as a supervisor. But I said no, because I don´t have experience. So I won´t do the job very good. And I don´t like to be like the goverment.
He said to me, “Don´t be stupid, you are studying, it´s easy money, don´t be stupid!”
Now I earn less money, it´s not enough to afford my living by my own, I still need my sponsor and I have to work hard. Sometimes I am thinking about the money, but only sometimes. I love my job very much, to help the children, that makes me very happy.”
I am so wowed of my new friends here, can´t describe feelings, my respect. I am listening and they just wow me with every time more and more. How honest, how good they are. They make me feel bad and teaching me hope at the same time. Hope that there will be change, for me and them. We all have to try hard, every day.
Waking up at 6 a.m.
The alarm bothers like every day after brushing my teeth.
The nights are a chairoplane of faces, plunging in my wakefulness, scattered by the brain wind, yanking, nerved and ending in my insecure efforts to arrange something good, better, and not something, the good at it´s best. Smelling the desperation of generations, suffered the tortures of history, small hands searching for backup, embracing the numbness of an attempt to escape. I follow the plans of a break-out everyday, in the beaten hits of the tired eyelids, weak of hope, an old man´s cry, abused, already their hands buried in the dusty ground of a life without a spot of time to grow in. The children try hard every day – so does the staff, the whole team, from the cleaner to the administration – not to loose. I am so proud of their strength and brave hearts. They can change, a lot… in this district, village, community, microcosm.
Increase the level of knowledge.
Causing a butterfly effect.
No sack of rice will topple down in China.
But rice in sacks will be given away to the people, to the neighbours, to their neighbours, to share with their neighbours. “What comes around…” Sometimes, maybe yes. But. Poverty. Alcoholism. Drug addiction. Abuse. Violation. – Goes around. Paradise has left planet earth. Was never there.
I always kept it straight. Never was a person of micro or macro, lost hope after pissed on the ideas of a revolution, of their revolutions. Never got the big picture. I felt too lonely, too misunderstood by borders, color and the mechanical hammering of the brainmachines – an emotional blackmail. Never followed the small flames, jumping from house to house, not to bring light, mostly they have electricity, not to burn the house – have you ever heard of the Saint Florian! – but to keep the charcoal heated, to prepare food. Sometimes it´s easier to help as to criticise and at first more important. Education, Food, clothes and a place to be, to take cover, to reach strenght to conquer the world, to reconquer life. A place to be a kid, not to be frightened of making a no-mistake. Kids don´t make mistakes, the just try to change the world – and they could do it, far better. They are still changing my road.
So many of the children disappeared in their own voices, being exposed to their howls, resounding dumb. They lost their desire to learn, abandoned in blank. Sharing poverty, starvation and lack of existence, means moments of happiness, means feeling a spark of satisfaction or consolation. They are afraid. Afraid of doing something, exploring the self. It´s not about correct or wrong. How could children decide, if the world itself is wrong, without rights but more duties. We just learned to decide, like they will have to. To survive.
Reconquer the voice!
Another language could be a tool, making them proud to express their feelings, their wishes and dreams in other words, in a ton of a better world, a different world, a new world, in which they are might be able to rule. They have to write and manifest their lives, loud, clear, full of self-confidence. Their hope, “if they study hard, then you will get a good job after finishing school and you can take care of your family or move abroad”, … the same career shit all like all around. But a job, good or whatever – the work will never be good, means more than nothing, on the way to self-determination, to be able to support, to pass back; that seems to be just naturally here. And still, I think that´s not the goal for the teaching, not my goal for sure. Sometimes, being introduced to all the rules, instructions, the dos and dont´s, I feel pissed. Like I felt pissed when I was young and wasted my time hanging around at school, mixing it for a pub – nowadays sometimes the opposite, even though lessons has changed – instead of listening and learning. Not only for this reason, I miss(ed) my childhood in a similar way, same same and very fuckin different. I don´t wanna breed the next generation of wanna-bes and never-will-bes. I don´t wanna loose them and I don´t wanna fuck it up. I am responsible and it´s not my responsibility. I have a mission and be a part of a vision and feel stranded at once. What makes me feel strong is the team. – I only focus on trying to make the children feel strong again. They mostly surrendered without ever having fought. No one showed them the armoury, teached them how to leave protection, how to defence, how to triumph and gain the end of a war, how to handle power and reign their lives. That needs structure, discipline and motivation. The children have to learn to keep on trying. And so, after more than two weeks I find myself in front of the class, calling “Silence!”, knocking on the white board and order to listen, to be aware, to play with me that wargame. Now there is peace, but time will change, always. I am thinking a lot of my acting, if I want to act like this and what the consequences are. And suddenly my self-interrogation is interrupted by an alarm clock, reminding me to take it serious, so get prepared for the lessons, teacher!!!
Cambodia is running into a ghostly thunderstorm of history, like in the last two years a lot of countries did and still do. The borders more and more become bars, begging hands between, faces of lost. If there is no more flesh to bruise, no more bones to brake, that faces will leave the dark and walk into shadows of fire. I hope so. – And I don´t hope.
“One chopstick you can break easily like this, a lot of chopsticks, try, impossible to break.” But a tank can just run them down into ashes. I will never will be a friend of that calendar phrases, they don´t change anything, not even the unterstanding. Maybe useful to feed the propaganda.
Back home I spent 200 € at least per month for getting drunken. 50 $ monthly can safe a life here, securing a child´s rescue. I never saw the big picture, big or not, who cares. It´s in front of me, now, starring in my eyes, waiting for an answer, not an excuse.
I hope I will find my way back to this place, after leaving to Bali.
Where there is hope, there is a road.