Children of the Road Allowance in Cambodia

Little girl in straw house at Chhong Kneas near Siem Reap, Cambodia 2011

This photograph was taken yesterday as I walked down a dusty road that was home for a lot of people, people who are squatters along the road which is not much more than a raised bed of stone and thin sandy soil which lines the waterway channel leading to Tonle Sap Lake.  Rather than take the boat back all the way to the departure wharf, I had the boatman drop me off as we entered the channel so that I could walk the rest of the way down the narrow lane that separated rice fields from Tonle Sap Lake.

The single row of straw homes were all made with straw and bamboo and leftover bits of wood that raised the bed of the little houses off of the ground, a tiny home such as this one holding a little girl.  Children ran all over the place, a good number of them with no clothes on like this little boy.

Little boy and girl in straw lean-to, the most basic of homes at Chhong Kneas.

?The masculine and the feminine, the spirit and the soul, that is found within each of us is often just as poverty stricken as these young children.  Like the little boy, we are eager to show off what little consciousness we have and claim ourselves to be wise and intellectual and sophisticated.  Like the little girl, almost hiding, our souls hunger for nourishment, hoping that we recognise her enough so that she doesn’t get left behind, abandonned.

It is not enough to take care of the body – our bodies and the bodies of others – we need to take care of our inner children.  Of course, much of that care is given through being present in the outer world and caring for others as we would our own bodies.

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