Our friends & family alike know how much we enjoy a good whale watch, so when Dee Lewis (of our one of our partners, Dick Lewis Smiles) referred to our trip to visit the ~30 wells donated through MTRF as “well-watching” we immediately latched onto her tongue-in-check reference to our adventure! There were several similarities to the Maui version, such as:
- a rather topsy-turvy journey (uneven dirt roads with lots of twists & turns)
- lots of surprises (excitement over new gardens made possible by readily accessible water)
- extremely grateful families who were thrilled with their wells
- some risky moves (that “log bridge” we crossed to reach one well family had us 2nd guessing if it was up to supporting the weight of Americans vs Cambodians!)
- lots of splashing & smiles!
It was heart-warming to meet the various well recipients in person – be sure to check out the new photos we’ll be posting regularly on our facebook page and on the ‘photos’ section of our website. The families were so very appreciative & truly excited to have visitors in their remote village. It was a privilege to hand-deliver their mosquito nets to them at the close of our visit --every single time, they clasped their hands together at their hearts & bowed their heads while expressing their gratitude for these simple gifts. It was so very humbling!
Most of their homes were made of woven palm leaves and their cooking’s done over a small outdoor fire (meals consist mainly of rice, broth & a few veggies if they’ve started a garden). When we asked about their protein consumption we were told that they try to catch fish or frogs & eat them only occasionally. They lead very simple lives. Many of them have only a few articles of clothing & some don’t even have shoes. The homes don’t have electricity, so when the sun goes down, their day comes to an end.
In the mornings, many of the kids walk to school, while some have bikes (it’s not uncommon to see 2-3 kids on one bike). Most only attend through 6th grade, but we’re hoping to change that over time (there will be future blogposts on this).
Two days after our ‘well watch’, we were able to tour the school, where we participated in a free Dental Clinic that was put on to serve ~400 children from the area! Can you even imagine?! These experiences most definitely put a new spin on the term “Health & WELLness” for us!!
Stay tuned for more details in a future blog post…….until then – BE WELL!