Had a lovely day/evening today. I actually did lounge by the pool but out of choice to read my book – which I finished! Thank god I bought another one! Have to say, Jodi Pidcoult – House Rules, I figured the end early on. But still enjoyed being enthralled in a book. 

The hotel was empty, people have moved on, gone home, gone to explore. So I had complete time to myself. Then I did a few laps of the pool, but my shoulder wasn’t too keen afterwards!

Headed to my room for a quick nap before meeting Janine, a fellow Kiwi for dinner.

Her work has been really interesting. She’s set up a private school in a rural town, but she’s also created a network. One is within the child trafficking area that I had been keen to work in, she told me after a few days, she found herself drinking more and more to get images out of her head of the young children that were abused beyond all normal persons capacity to comprehend. I won’t write any of the stories here because they are simply too shocking. But she also worked with a nurse that treated AIDS patients – which was an eye opener for her. Especially as a lot of patients take the drugs to sell on. She initially came over as a missionary and spent time in the prisons which sounds pretty horrible. Everything you imagine a South American prison to be. Decay, filth, rats, men and woman mixed, violence. And of course, should someone come into money, they find they get released earlier.

She’s seen so many things – experienced the real underbelly of Cambodia. I admire her greatly. Her love for the people and culture keep her motivated. But soon she returns to NZ. She feels she needs time now to recharge. It’s clear that seeing the true horrors of a place can take its toll on a persons mind, body and spirit. And I agree, she certainly needs a rest.

I will stay in touch with her. We were able to talk frankly and honestly. I think that’s a gift when you meet a person who  is open minded and talks directly. Two people the same I mean. A meeting of the minds. I don’t think either of us would make good dinner companions at anyone else’s house!

Before she arrived in the restaurant, a dove flew past me. A beautiful white dove. I’ve not seen one before – certainly not in Cambodia. Everyone turned to see it. I couldn’t help but allow myself that such an unusual occurrence would happen prior to meeting someone I’ve never really spoken too much before. I felt that perhaps she would have a lot to give, for me to learn from.

She did. And I hope that in my ability to listen to her stories that she felt unable to discuss with anyone else, she felt some comfort.

I haven’t heard from my husband all day. I resisted the urge to send mundane texts – just so I could feel his presence. He of course, didn’t message me. Which is no surprise. He either responds to me or messages about the kids. 

I feel an emptiness. A void. I wonder if I will have that part of me back. I wonder with great uncertainty what the future holds. I can only survive, live, learn and adapt.


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