My final day at Hope has come and I have said goodbye to the Gryffindors and the Penquins. I took the lessons on my own (Anna and Gemma are away) and it was poignant as I thought back to my very first lessons with them both.
The Penquins are such a happy bunch and as I gave them gifts they had written letters for me. Raksmey came to class on Wednesday and via Vannack explained that he has been doing Khmer school work, we have realised now that he has some difficulties with learning but he has extra help at the other school, which is brilliant as usually these issues are not acknowledged even though they are evident. We have developed such a close bond that I was thrilled that he came back before I left.
I had such a fun and noisy lesson with the Gryffindors (below), playing games and singing but towards the end when I talked about how I felt about leaving and what I thought of them you could hear the silence. It totally took me by surprise and I felt that they were united in their despondency, I assumed that it was because there are no opportunities here and so I talked about hope with a lump in my throat. As I stopped talking they didn’t move so I walked towards the door to give them all hugs.
The journey through Hope has not been a roller coaster but a continuous flow of changing emotions increasing in intensity as I have gained understanding of their culture and above all their difficulties. With each passing week I have gained more insight and my admiration holds no bounds for they are wonderful, generous, happy people and they are always smiling, it has been a privilege for me to have spent time with them and a very humbling experience for which I am truly grateful.
The Purpose of Life by His Holiness the Dalai Lama:
“Whether we are rich or poor, educated or uneducated, whatever our nationality, colour, social status or ideology may be, the purpose of our lives is to be happy.”