Last night the girls in my class had a little going away thing for me. They got me this adorable cake, topped with what I thought were snowmen, other girls think are pandas and Houng thinks are “dogs or something”? There was singing, crying, there were individual pictures with the cake, there was cake cutting and feeding each other bites of cake. They gave me an adorable scrapbook chronicling some of the things that we did together and included a variety of pictures of me that they got off of Facebook.
These girls are, in one word- incredible. Most of the girls in my class were first year students, so they had only arrived to Phnom Penh a few weeks prior to my arrival. Over the past 3 months, I’ve seen the girls learn how to do everything from using the toilet, to driving a moto, to playing a guitar, to typing on a computer. Sokkhornn couldn’t even type on a keyboard a couple of weeks ago, and now she’s Facebook chatting me. These are the little things that you don’t even think about when they come here. The girls have had to leave their homes, their villages, their families, their simple life and come to the big city to attend university. I’ve seen them grow and mature SO much over the past 3 months. My first few classes, the girls were practically mute. Now we’re all chatting, joking, laughing and their english has just blown up. I’ve never seen such a transition in my life. The support system that they have here in Harpswell is HUGE. Everyone is so close, and there’s almost no cattiness.
I’ve never met so many unconditionally loving people in my life. So sweet, so thankful, kind and nurturing. I will forever be changed by these girls, and I can’t wait to hear about how far they will go in life.