In Cambodia, the rainy season starts in May and ends around November. At its peak which is around now (September), it normally rains every 2 out of 3 days.
As I watch Vanou (one of my local students who is 11 years old) crossing the watery alley with his bicycle, my true admiration goes to the Khmer’s resilience and readiness for the rainy days!
First of all, most of the Khmer houses (especially in rural Cambodia) are built on stilts. Although the local communities could not afford much furniture in their houses, but one thing they would never cut corner is having the strong and steady stilts holding up the entire house.
When the houses are on stilts, not only they can escape from the rainy season floods (which is very often) but they also offer a cooling area for community gathering during the dry days.
Not far from here, there is Kampong Phluk which has been turned into a deep water village. In fact, it is a famous floating village that all houses (homes, schools, shops, temples etc) are built on the incredibly high and strong stilts. It is part of Tonle Sap, which is the Asia’s largest freshwater lake that covers an area of 2,500 square kms
The rainy days are fantastic for children too! There are natural playgrounds created everywhere. While strolling around the villages on my motorbike, I often hear laughters and see children swimming (naked!) in front of their houses. The joy and happiness on their tiny little faces are just priceless.
Another local activity during the rainy days is fishing. Children from my local home have been telling me every morning, ‘Let’s go fishing!’, and they are absolutely serious when it comes to fishing! I often see people holding their fishing baskets, nets or rods to find their catch. They hope to bring home some fish so that the many children and elderlies can have an unusually good feed (for free).
My Khmer friends and families inspired me, “Always look at the bright side in life! One can always find joy (even in challenging environment) as long as you are ready and look for it.”
What is your way to get ready for the ‘rainy days’?
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