21 January 2010

Ice Cubes and Email

After much discussion we were able to get 8 of the girl's from the HCC centre to visit us at our home. They arrived at 9 o'clock, a full 4 hours early!

They were all excited to be here- remember their lives revolve almost entirely around time spent in two institutions- school and the shelter. A trip then, to Phnom Penh and the home of a couple of foreigners was a big event.

None of the 8 had ever been on the Internet, and so, of course, not one had much idea about email let alone have an email address. So we explained email and set them up with addresses. Well some of them, it all took a while. Not because they were slow to pick things up, but because they took forever to choose log in names. Like anyone, anywhere, the name they chose had to be just right. We only had time to send a few test messages but the girls sat stunned as they followed the 'send and receive' process!

One girl wasn't so much engrossed in the internet as she was with the contents of our refrigerator (there isn't one at the centre). Opening the freezer door and seeing the cold mist was fascinating to her as were our perfectly formed ice cubes. That's because while ice is available in rural Cambodia it is something of a luxury. Usually the ice comes in big blocks which are loaded onto the back of trucks. Customers then decide how much ice they want and a piece is cut off with a hacksaw. Naturally, then, when we offered water to the girls they all wanted ice!

We are hoping and they are hoping that they can return this Sunday.


  1. sir... i am teacher here in INDIA... it is very nice to read the articals in your blog.... wishes... HARISH MANGALORE KARNATAKA INDIA

  2. Nice to hear from you Harish. What are the students like in India...?