Wednesday, February 10, 2016


This old lady was lying on the bed when we came up to her house. We couldn't speak Khmer, hence we gestured our way, signaling that the food package were gifts for her. Then, we realized that she was too frail to walk. Wanting not to disturb her rest further, we made our way down from her house. It was then that she suddenly called 'wait!' in Khmer. To our surprise, she crawled her way to her door to see us go, and when she saw all 13 of us handling all these food packages...she started to cry. One of our doctors went back up and hugged her tight. It was one of those moments that I will remember for the rest of my life. A moment where I will always go back to when I feel dissatisfied with life. In the words of Leo Tolstoy:
"In contrast with what I had seen in my circle, where the whole of life is passed in idleness, amusement, and dissatisfaction, I saw that the whole life of these people was passed in heavy labour, and that they were content with life. In contradistinction to the way in which people of our circle oppose fate and complain of it on account of deprivations and sufferings, these people accepted illness and sorrow without any perplexity or opposition, and with a quiet and firm conviction that all is good. In contradistinction to us, who the wiser we are the less we understand the meaning of life, and see some evil irony in the fact that we suffer and die, these folk live and suffer, and they approach death and suffering with tranquility and in most cases gladly. In complete contrast to my ignorance, they knew the meaning of life and death, labored quietly, endured deprivations and sufferings, and lived and died seeing therein not vanity but good…"

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