10% and 90%

“….I am convinced that life is 10%  what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.”  Charles R Swindoll

I just love this quote. I first heard it some years ago before I came to Cambodia and after living here for nearly eighteen months I have seen that many Cambodians live this out-they probably have never even heard this quote before-but they are the epitome of it.P1050686 P1050715

Born into poverty and destitution they have no choice but to work for a living and they will take whatever work is on offer. It is not their fault that they have been born into this way of life but it is their reaction to this that is amazing. Every day I see young children begging at the traffic junctions, people collecting rubbish with their own children sitting in the rubbish carts-today I saw a man with crutches pushing his cart with his young son sitting inside it…just another day in Phnom Penh. They never moan, they just survive as that is all they can do.P1050321

Yet they are such an inspiration. They will often smile at you and genuinely appreciate anything that is given to them. Many work at night collecting the rubbish as it is cooler-they have lamps on their heads so they can see what they are looking for…and also to spot the rats. It is no surprise that Cambodia was recently voted the friendliest country in the world by Rough Guides….that is quite an achievement out of nearly 200 different countries on this planet.P1050263

So Cambodia is proof that you can overcome adversity if you have the right attitude…..this does not mean that the people are just tolerant of their lives, it shows that they are among the most beautiful people in the world….because they have shown that what has happened to their country in the past will not hang over them and they will apply themselves as they only know how ……to never bloody give up.

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Building a future………..                                      ……..for a better past.

One Blog…….One Year On

I have been writing this blog for one year now and have been amazed by the response that it has had. I decided to do it really just to inform people back home ( mostly on the Isle of Wight ) of what life is like here in Phnom Penh and in Cambodia. Nothing could have prepared me for the things that I have seen and the way in which people live their lives….but I have been so blessed to be able to help some , in some small way, and to get to know so many friends out here.DSCN3476

Cambodia is one of the poorest countries in the world. It is also one of the most corrupt countries in the world and has an appalling record on Human Rights. For many people here there is little hope and they just survive from day to day….nothing more. P1050300The people here have a completely different mindset to that of those of us who live or come from the western world. To see how people live in the slums out here ( there is no word for slum in the Cambodian language ) is something that all should see as they will realise how fortunate most of us are just to have a roof over our heads.There really can’t be many more desperate countries in the whole world although I know that some( North Korea ) are worse off, and others as well. But what never ceases to amaze me is how content and happy the people here are. Ask anyone who lives or works here, or has visited this wonderful country.I know many people and families who live in slums here but they are such loving generous people, they will always make you feel welcome and appreciate any help that is given to them. They are born into poverty, they do not choose it and most just want to work and provide for themselves and their families……but therein lies the bigger issue. Many have not received a good education,if any, and therefore cannot read or write to enable them to get a good job. P1010233Manual work is available here but the wages are low and often the working conditions certainly on the building sites are dangerous. Many women work on the building sites and have their children with them all day. I have watched them build a four story block of flats behind my house with the children running about on the third floor…and with nothing to stop them falling over the edge. The women work hard doing the carrying, the lifting and shoveling…all this when they are pregnant as well.

There are many other things that I could tell you about what I have seen and learnt..but I may well bore you…the traffic accidents, the day to day struggles of those who live in the slums and those that I work with, the unwillingness of some to help, the injustice that goes on in this country. I have looked back over my previous blogs and find that there is so much that has had an impact on me over the last year..the friends, the tragedies, the fun, the frustrations….but then that is life sometimes and we must always move on, never fall back.


So….I don’t want to change the world ( who sang that ?) but I want to change people’s lives and to show them Hope in this fallen world……If you would like to know more about the situations that people face out here then please get in touch, or if you would like to see it first hand then again get in touch and I can accommodate you……it will change your life. One year on…and one changed life.