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This month has been quite the challenge.
The spiritual atmosphere is heavy. The only time I have stopped sweating is during my shower. Teaching English is really hard. Living in community is hard. Missing home is hard.
But this month has also been full of so many blessings.
One of the best blessings this month has been Vatay.
Vatay attends the church that we are staying at this month. She has been such a blessing. Every afternoon that we have taught English she has been in our classrooms helping translate instrucions to our little students. Seeing her smiling face brings me so much Joy.
Vatay is 15 years old and in 8th grade. Her favorite food is pizza and her favorite color is pink. She lives in Pray Salav, the village that the school we teach in, with 12 family members. She hasn’t always been able to live with her family though.
When Vatay was 8 her mom realized that she couldn’t afford Vatay’s education. Vatay was sent to live with a foreign family who were Christians. She lived with them until she was 11, but then ended up back with her mom because the family moved to Phnom Phen.
Currently, Vatay attends high school in Siem Reap from 7am-12pm. After school she takes a short rest and then spends the rest of her day working in their family business. They make piggy banks to sell in the market or in other cities. They make about $600 a month for the whole family (all 12 people!) before even taking supplies out of the earnings.
Vatay’s dream is to someday go to the USA for college and become a doctor for kids. She wants to stay there and make enough to bring her family from Cambodia to the USA.
I love this girl so much! I hope that someday she can achieve her dream. It would be a beautiful thing to see her in a few years studying at an American University!
Sometimes I forget how lucky I am. I am uncomfortable for a few months here on the race, but I have so many opportunities available to me that a lot of the world doesn’t even know exists.
I am so greatful for the perspective reminder.