The big dark eyes of Cambodian children are filled with curiosity for new things, especially our group of yellow skinned strangers. Their eyes are fixed on us, shy yet wanting to explore.


The following day after the well was constructed, we brought resources to a remote school in Cambodia. The tuk tuk stopped in front of a school where a few energetic children ran to us but ran away laughing after seeing us leave the car. They repeated this act with us and I played along with their game, feigning to chase and capture them. We greeted each other with a game of tag.


We spent the day with kindergarten and elementary school children who were only beginning to learn English but were not quite good at it. I tried with difficulty to conversate with them, but after spending a morning together we still learned to interact. Their expressions told me they were satisfied with their lives, or rather, the children were not quite clear as to whether their environment was good or bad. However, the gifts they receive from other places such as their stationary, story books, clothes, towels, and daily items may help them understand that these gifts are not easily obtainable. As the children accepted the gifts, some stared at their items quietly; I noticed a girl who brought clothes to her brother during break. She took off his uniform and put it on him, hugging him happily. They shared a precious moment knowing the piece of clothing was not easy to come by.



The school’s equipment is not very advanced, but it’s enough. There is also a well that provides students with clean water along with a basketball court, soccer field, and convenience store. The children love going to the store after class to claim unlimited drinks, fruits, and bread. After diligently walking around the campus you’ll discover that each classroom only has a single bulb for lighting so whenever you had to copy notes from the blackboard, class had to be held outside. Courses in classrooms are mainly held using cue cards and posters; when comparing to my own childhood education, I was definitely much luckier.


People often say: “school is a microcosm of society”. Recently, Cambodia has begun to focus on education and listed K-12 as part of their compulsory education so that children have the opportunity for regular training and learning to get along with others. It’s akin to a little key to the brain that bestows upon them the abilities of self-discovery and growth. Suddenly, I also wanted to teach them something so I found a place, setup my GoPro on a desk, and began to control it remotely from a smartphone app. This attracted the curiosity of the children and they gathered around, “Look!”, I taught them how to take pictures using the smartphone and showed them the screen with pictures of them in it, so they knew it was a camera. Hopefully, they won’t need to remember who I am on this day but learn the concept of a camera and photography. Even in the economically deprived country of Cambodia, education allows them the opportunity to chase their dreams in the future.

“Life is gentle to everyone, but when it is unkind, it does so in new ways, leaving no choice and no escape”. I remember these words from a drama I once watched. Children in Cambodia sometimes must shoulder the economic burden of their families and work jobs for money at an early age. The media once reported that in order to earn enough for college tuition in Beijing, a little boy sold souvenirs in 15 languages; this time around, I did visit a tourist area and met a little girl who said to me in Chinese: “you buy, I study” in hopes of selling her product. I’m not sure if “wanting to study” is a marketing tactic, but what I do know is that they strive to earn their own happiness when faced with a life that is unkind. While meager, what I can give them is a fraction of what they need on their path to happiness.






tell them about SUPERACE