My days as volunteer, friend, daughter, that white girl, Reza and teacher are almost over. I know the date is coming, but I still don’t get I am about to leave soon. We were with my friends swimming in the river and now we are going on the scooter and want to stop by in our community, where I teach. Normally there is a crowd of around 20 children sitting around long table looking out for me and my broken bike. But now there was just leader of community and few locals. He is waving at me if I am not hungry. Tremendous! “We have snake” said leader. They cut a huge snake on the wooden, old table and I take a small piece of meat after two encouraging of others. Tasty, distinctive taste. I take the bowl right away and get some pieces of the snake with the broth. We talk, joke and the leader asks me if I could stay longer in the community. “Unfortunately, I can’t, but I would love to” I am saying with an apologetic smile.
Few days later, exactly 14.5. is a celebration of the new Khmer year, I give children the school supplies, we have bought to them. I have a list of names and shout one after another. I smile to every child’s face and try to remember it. Children are terribly shy but grateful. In the evening the community leader organized goodbye party for me with kids. He started with a beautiful talk about how terribly happy he was that I spent my time in his community and donated school supplies for 3 classes of children and that he wanted me for a long time. After that, 13-year-old Ratana, in front of other people and children, thanks me for learning, for my time, and wishes me a happy return home and to be still beautiful and not get old. Haha. I am sad, I can hardly talk and I am wiping my grateful tears. Then we eat, drink, talk and dance to loud Khmer music till late night.
In the morning of the last day I take pictures of the road and the house I lived in and I can’t hold the tears. In the evening I have a goodbye party with my family at home and children, from the neighbourhood, who attended evening classes. I also gave them textbooks, school supplies and toys. Little girls were excited about Barbie dolls and guys about soccer balls. Then I gave my second family a little gifts and hugged my host mom so much. With help of my friend who translated she told me I am her daughter as much as the one her own who she married a week ago. I feel pure happiness and joy. Then when everyone dances and sings their favorite karaoke, I watch them with a smile and I already know that this is not the last time we see each other. I know that for sure.