Cambodia- Singing and Dancing on Mekong River
A girl asked me " Will you come back?"
I smile, but I didn’t make any promise to her.
On a seven-seaters van, there were packed with twenty-four people on it. The kids were wearing their school uniforms, with musical instruments, singing happily and leaving the village to the Mekong River. A cruise ships was parked by the river which it was the destinations of this short journey.
The cruise ship was from Phnom Penh, carrying tourists from all over the world, stopped in Kampong cham province. The kids performed singing and dancing on the boat for earning a big tips from the tourists. These tips were the main income of the village for improving the living standard of the villagers.
After the show, the children used English to share their dreams with all the people. Some said he wanted to be a police for putting all the bad guys in jail, some said he wanted to be a football player for participating in the football match, some said he wanted to be a teacher for educating the next generation, some said he wanted to work on the boat for traveling around the world. Every dream carries an innocent heart with it. I was touched but also feeling sad.
The kids would perform on the boat once a week. They would go to school in the remaining time for learning English, Mathematics and Music which were taught by volunteers. The head of the village said that the kids learnt English to communicate with the tourists. They learnt mathematics to ensure that they know how to calculate. They learnt music to earn income. Learning for them was a tool of subsistence.
My travel buddy has asked me if we were volunteering this time. I replied that it’s better for us to be a tourist as we would only stay in the village for three days. It’s irresponsible for establishing rapports with the kids but then left them easily.
However, when I was afraid that I would be too close with the child. They were too innocent that treating us without any suspicion. They held our hands and invited us to play poker together. My heart was melted when I saw their lovely smiles.
Although it has only been three days, I felt like we had built up a close relationship with each other. I wish I could stay longer, and spend more time with them. However, when the girl asked me if I will be back, I didn’t give her an answer. As I know that it’s easy to make a promise at the situation that we were emotional. At that moment, we sincerely believe that we would honour our promise. However, we have underestimated the pace of life. After we go back to our own place, the reality would wash away our memories day by day. We would forget the promises we’ve made, as well as the people who were waiting for us.
To the child, we might only be a guest of their life, but we might also be a hope. They may believe the promise and look forward to the reunion day. However, an easy promise would destroyed the hope of the kids.
Therefore, please don’t make a promise easily if we are not sure if we can honour it.
However, I truly believe that there’s a reason for me to be here, to meet the people.
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