I awoke super early yesterday morning and was able to get some pics organized and write a blog post. Benefits of still having jet lag! By the time we got the kids up, I was all packed up for our next part of the journey.
We had a great breakfast again, this time I tried the noodles for breakfast- which were awesome, and a few kids opted for pancakes.
We packed up and bid farewell to the King Grand Suites hotel, as well as smoggy Phnom Penh. Zach had commented last night that the city has a certain smell to it. All the time. Sort of like pollution?!
We drove through the city and snapped some pics.
I had a little doze and woke up to our driver saying he had to stop for a minute to see his mom, who was at a little stall/shop at the side of the highway. We were about an hour outside the city. I watched him give her a bag of things, and then count out money for her and give it to her. Two little kids were there too and started waving and blowing kisses to us. So cute!
I was overcome by this feeling of privilege. Here we are, being driven to Siem Reap. On this incredible trip. Bellies full from a great breakfast. After a good night sleep in air conditioned rooms. My kids playing on their own iPhones in the back of the van. Heading to experience and explore an area that most will only dream about.
Why me? Why them? Why were we born in such different surroundings? We talked a lot yesterday with the kids about how if you were born in poverty in this country, there’s really very little way out of it (our guide has been sharing a lot about the poverty in the country). Why do some of us live in extreme privilege and others in extreme poverty?
I don’t know the answer.
I just know that this privilege brings me to my knees in gratitude for what I have. And for no other reason that I was born in a different land, to different parents. No more deserving of it than anyone else.
It also brings me an overwhelming sense of responsibility to raise my kids – highly privileged kids – to have a social conscience. To be kind and compassionate humans. To use travel as a way of expanding and educating their minds. And to serve serve serve. And then serve. Expressing gratitude along the way. Always.
I know it doesn’t change much. Poverty still exists. Privilege still exists. But small acts all together can make a difference. I hope.