Monday, September 5, 2011


I still haven't finished blogging about my trip to Cambodia earlier this summer. I don't know what my mental road block was but I just kept putting it off. It was such an amazing trip and I know I can't adequately put my thoughts into words so I guess I just filed it away in my brain. Until today. I grabbed what I thought was an empty memory card tonight to take pics of the kids real quickly. It wasn't empty. Out of the 800+ pictures I took on the trip, there was ONE picture that I never saw when I was scrolling through them all when I was home. I looked several times over the next month and then accepted that I wasn't going to find that picture. Until tonight! There were 6 pictures already on this card when I grabbed it and this picture was one of them:

Seems so simple yet brought back a ton of memories. This precious lady was visiting the center while we were there. One (maybe more?) of her children live there. She was thanking me, I think, and kept shaking and rubbing my hands. Now, after a week there, I picked up about 3 words in Khmer so honestly had no idea what she was saying, but it "seemed" like she was telling me my hands were very white and soft. She kept comparing our hands. Her's...dark, rough, calloused. Mine...pale, soft, smooth. We called a translator over to help us out and she was, indeed, amazed by the paleness and softness of my hands. It hit me (and seeing this picture again reminded me) that pretty much every thing she does in her normal daily life, we have machines to do. Really. Dishes - check. Laundry - check. Heck, even transportation - check! Our days here have been hotter temperature-wise than when we were in Cambodia...but we have A/C and just come inside when it is hot out. They try to find shade. There is no nice way to say this...Americans are spoiled. We are white and soft and spoiled.

We asked someone to take a picture of us and they did (I don't even remember who it was - just figured I would get it when I got back home). She found me later and asked me to take one with MY camera. You see, while we were there, my camera=prints. We brought two printers and I took pictures of all 800 kids and a lot of parents too and we printed them on the spot for them. This sweet lady wanted a picture of us to keep. Someone else taking it didn't get her that. I would say that I wonder if she still has it but I'm pretty sure I know the answer to that. I'm printing this up now for myself so I can remember to pray for her now that I'm back in my spoiled lifestyle, and so I will not forget.


  1. What a sweet story. I'm so glad you found this special picture... love you bunches, Les and proud of your tender spirit

  2. This touches my heart, deep down. I bet she holds onto that photo forever. I can only imagine that you changed her life in many wonderful ways!

  3. Oh Leslie, your story brought back a wonderful memory for you and jogged my memory of a similar story. I had a sweet lady that was comparing our skin as well when we were on the trip together. The ladies in Cambodia all cover up their skin. I could not understand the lady except she kept rubbing my arm......I miss Cambodia and hope God allows me to go again....The pics you took were the high light of the trip for all the families....We take so much for granted and you are correct - we are spoiled....A simple picture for them was pricesless. Their was one day that I stood and watched a Mother looking at her picture for it seemed like at least 15 minutes. It made me cry that day to think about how a picture made her world so much better....Thank you for the blessing and hard work you did in the 800+ pics you took - ..I enjoyed our time in Cambodia so much...
    God Bless - Peggy

  4. We had a missionary to Pakistan at our church today. The pictures he shared just reiterated your point - we are so spoiled. Thank you for continuing to share your experiences.


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