Update for the New Year

January 14 2011

Dear friends and partners,

Happy New Year’s everyone.  May 2011 be filled with the blessings that you have brought to so very many.  For myself, the new years has started well. I am back at work with very little restrictions, doing what I am meant to do. That is so very good.

This week I went on two project visits, something I was unable to do the past six months. I thought I would share with you what these visits tend to be like. Usually we leave, the community development driver, Da and the community development supervisor, Srie, at six in the morning. It means the sun is not quite up and city traffic is just beginning. As we drive to the projects, the sun comes up and infuses the countryside with a glow – very beautiful. As the day’s heat takes over, the glow disappears into a hot haze and the harsh reality of life takes over.

This week’s visits were very typical – we looked at finished schools, approved new ones to be built and talked with students and teachers about the marvels of education. One young lady of 6 attached herself to my shirt and hung on no matter what. Her mum had died last month and I seemed to be a good replacement. I felt for the little one.

home improvement

Then we visited families who had received houses from our volunteer house builders. It’s so good to see the improvements being made by each family. We met a family that had put bricks on the bottom and were slowly replacing the tin with wood. They had taken off the Tabitha sign and were protecting it. They will have a ceremony when the house is rebuilt and then proudly hang the sign on the wall.

Others have bought new stairs, others have extended their homes and many have built or are in process of building a latrine to go with the house. Some plant flowers around the borders of the house, others put up curtains – all reflect the pride and joy they have in their new homes.  For you house builders that come and build, the starter home you built, is the start of new hopes and dreams.

We visit the many families who have received wells and who are earning incomes. We talked with Hout and his wife – they have eight children- they are middle aged – their faces worn with the cares of life – they are proud and smiling – all eight children are in school – all the time – they are earning enough not to keep their children at school. It is so very good.

Tabitha people

We visit vegetable fields – corn that is taller than I, spring onions that I can’t have because they only chop of the green parts for selling – bak choy and cabbages, pumpkins and aubergines, chillie peppers – we look at pigs and see fish – and it’s all so good.

The last item on all site visits is to see the new areas. I sigh – how can people live so meanly? Houses are so small and so inadequate – there is no water, there is so little food, and almost no clothes. We see a number of men drinking under a tree – Srie and Da are disgusted – I say, if I lived like this – I too, would drink. Life can be so sad.

tall corn

Then we travel home – tired and dusty – but the sun is setting – and the country takes on a warm glow. It is once again stunningly beautiful. I am very tired but I am also at peace. We have done much and there is so much more to do. I thank you for standing with us – I thank my God for the privilege of living this life. Happy New Years everyone.

Janne

Tabitha Cambodia
#239, St 51,
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Ph: 023-721-238
email: Tabitha.janne@forum.org.kh