We travel, take a break, take a nap, quit our job or if these things are not possible due to a lot of consideration we settle ourselves to heartbreaking pathetic complains and complicate our life. The first sentence hit me the way that it hit you, were not perfect creatures, everybody gets tired. But sometimes due to too much self centeredness we forget about the world and miss out the fact that we’re far more blessed than the people and their situation we overlook because we’re too focused about our own misery.
Siem Reap, Cambodia well known for its renowned heritage temples, even mistaken as Angkor Wat. A South East Asian country and (just like us) a third world country. A place where most lives were dependent on hope and dreams, a place very much like us holding on with hopes and dreams. Sad to say, correct me if I’m wrong we’re far more better in terms of progress, as far as stock exchange is concern or at least as I see through my own life, having a frappucino to sip after 8 hours of work, 3 meals a day with snacks I crave for, having a 32 days leave and having a chance to travel and see the life out of my comforts.
Although not part of the itinerary we still go besides we are templed out and gone tired of too much stones. Passing down several houses along side, sat down at the front seat of a tuktuk with a 360 degree view of Philippines rural area look a like landscape, not expecting anything not even a harsh reality
As I hop on the boat, as the driver put on the keys, pull on the motor and gradually maneuver the boat out in the open. Suddenly I uttered this word “I’m so blessed”. The boat lost its way,the motor stop while we’re half way through to where houses are lined up and while staring at the small boats that holds a soul paddling so hard, paddling so hard to survive a life. The two nice to goodness cambodians help each other in paddling in order to maneuver back again and finally got it right like taking chances on luck and life. Then, the driver ask us if we want to drive, curious that I am I said yes, I drive. Although sitting and just looking at the other side of tourism and contemplating with it is not a boring thing to do we still ask question to know more, to understand more.
The water is clear when its raining and brownish when its sunny and when the rain is heavy, when the water level becomes high they have to evacuate to highlands to save their life. Not all families are blessed to have a boat so when school time they fetch kids one by one, house to house like a school bus and send them to a floating school. You can buy school supplies or foods at a floating store and donate it to the floating school. The tour guide used to live at the unsafe village with his parents and siblings but his parents died while fishing in the night of heavy rain and now took charge of his siblings while learning english language in exchange of 20 dollars a month.
Traversing the wide river, there are kids on the boat holding snakes, asking for one dollar, houses with kids asking for one dollar, homes with hopes and dreams. A place where remnants of their kingdom’s internal conflict, problems with genocide and past war left struggling people just to makes ends meet.
It hit me the way that I hit you, we’re not perfect creatures. It’s given life is an unending quest for an end. But, isn’t sad to realized that we struggled so hard, paddled too hard to an ideal reality we perceive. Isn’t sad to realized that we fret because of a daily routine that give us a frappucino to sip at the end of a very stressful day, we fret because of a missed piso fare, we fret because we have been cheated on, we fret because we are working on a holiday, we fret because of petty things which we can survive without. Isn’t sad to realized that we soul searched the whole world to understand our selves, to discover things that are only within us and there is this side of tourism where what they only need is just the basic necessities–food, clean water and a safe shelter.
A place full of life, overflowing with hopes and dreams that sad to say is a place where hopes and dreams flows down through its neighboring places and eventually discharges out to sea. A place where poverty is a daily reality, a place where pollution is just a normal thing and a place where life begins and ends in a struggle to make ends meet. A day to day basis of struggle for basic necessities without even minding about safety. A place where progress is sad to say, (again) correct me if I’m wrong is backward. And as I close eyes put my hands together will not just pray to be able to see the world but also pray for all struggling nation and pray for an end to all the wars and selfishness.