Written by Union team member Vivian Davidson
07.07.2013 - 07.28.2013
While we were at the Guangzhou airport waiting for our flight to Vancouver, Vivian told us that she had written a poem that she would like to share with us. Our flight had been delayed and we were happy to sit and hear her recite her poem. She has aptly captured all the emotions, nuances, and our new experience of coming to Cambodia for the first time and for a cause we all are passionate about.
Here is the link to a blog written by our team leader Rainbow. http://rainbow-in-cambodia.blogspot.com/2013/08/crazy-stupid-loved.html
Here is the link to HOPE International Development Agency http://www.hope-international.com/index.php.
Link from the HOPE website specific to Cambodia http://www.hope-international.com/ways-you-can-give/help-for-cambodians.html
Volunteer with HOPE http://www.hope-international.com/volunteer-overseas-with-union.html. Change someone's life and more importantly make your life really count! It has been the best life experience of my life thus far and I am so grateful to have been part of this most amazing group of people. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Rainbow, Clark, Kailey, Lily, Linda, Viola and Vivian for sharing this experience with me.
Thank you to Vivian for allowing me to share her heartfelt and beautiful poem on my blog.
By way of explanation for the word "barang", this is what the foreigners are called in Cambodia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barang (Khmer word)
Here is Vivian's poem:
We the Barangs
Coat by coat we pain the wood,
Watch us go, the barangs are in the hood.
Early risers at the crack of day,
Off to run we pave the way.
Rice by day and rice by night,
Dirty and sweaty we’re quite the sight.
Exotic fruits and Asian Pho,
The grateful kids their faces glow.
Mosquito spray from head to toe,
Buckets of water and cement to and fro.
Roaming hens and wild dogs,
Men and women on rice farm bogs.
Mosquito nets and lamps on head,
We worked our butts off, early to bed.
Red dirt paths and dung galore,
This is reality, no Jersey Shore.
People here have so little,
Yet their spirits are all but brittle.
Their shinning faces, their beaming smiles,
Mopeds everywhere, they’re seen for miles.
Geckos and spiders, bugs a plenty,
Spray not once or twice but twenty.
We come with hope to work and do,
From us they learn but we grow too.
Eight people who were once strangers,
Together we’ve faced work and dangers.
From blisters and cuts to muscle aches,
They could use more tools like hammers and rakes.
We sing, we laugh, we moan and groan,
It’s all great work, a well or micro-loan.
Seven ladies and one guy,
Bu he surely isn’t asking why.
We tease and joke yet work so hard,
The kind police come keep us guard.
The elders point the children hide,
We come with arms and hearts open wide.
Rare to see we are so strange,
First impressions quickly change.
People here a painful past,
Their wounds and scars forever last.
Yet resilience is strong not one more tear,
No complaints from them you’ll hear.
We pray for rain so we get to shower,
All together our mighty power.
A bucket to flush a bucket to rinse,
We’ve made it strong ever since.
We pave the well we plant the seeds,
Food and shelter so little needs.
Barking dogs such a pest,
Please shut up and let us rest.
Sore and tired we end the day,
Tomorrow again we’ll find the way.
The Indas go shopping, so many bags,
Our clothes and shoes end up in rags.
Lily and Rainbow take photographs,
Kailey and Clark bring up the laughs.
Viola tall as she is brave,
Vivian work she seems to crave.
Don’t forget your malaria pills,
Bumpy rides and other thrills.
The children played, they helped and drew,
We’re all the better for knowing you.
We leave you now but fear you not,
As forever in our hearts whoever thought."
-Vivian Davidson (July, 2013)