The Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge for this week asked us to show something we’re optimistic about or pictures that help us to stay positive and hopeful, regardless of what life throws our way. Well, the criteria brought me to the picture which shows the smiles of the girls in Tonle Bati, a place I visited more than 3 years ago.
Tonle Bati is actually a popular picnic place for local families. It is a small lake about 30 km south of the capital city of Cambodia, Phnom Penh. Beside the happiness of fishing activities and having meals together with family in the lakeside, we can explore a small Hindu temple which is called Ta Prohm of Bati. At first I was confused about its name, since it is similar to the famous Tomb Raider’s Ta Prohm in Angkor.
Originally my main objective to visit Tonle Bati was the temple, not the lake. But since the first step I walked in the path of the temple, the kids at first -then followed by the elder girls-, followed me in groups. They offered lotus flowers at first, but since I talked to each other with the little girls, then the older girls joined into our chit-chat and it became a light but serious discussion about a girl’s life in the area. I asked about their daily life, school, after school, their dreams (and boyfriends! Haha). The situation became so joyful when I could inform my name in Khmer language, one of the limited short sentences I could speak in their own language 😀 They’re so surprised to hear that but then in a minute all raced together to teach me other Khmer words. So wonderful…
They’re so optimistic about their future; regardless the poverty and simple life covers them or limited access to reach better education and life. They know that life is not easy, but welcoming visitors to Tonle Bati with the same level of joyful, kindhearted approaches and smiles, they have started to create their own beautiful world.