Awaiting final confirmation from my friends at charity:water on exact details of my donation, but let's keep geting the word out there. We've got VOTES to make and money to raise!!
VOTE for my travel entry in the Trazzler NYCGO writing contest: http://bit.ly/e62r7. It's about the beautiful spirit but murky water in Cambodia. Just click "Add to Wishlist" to vote and follow short instructions.
With Charity:Water it only takes $5k to build a freshwater well in a village and provide 250+ people with clean drinking water.If I win the Grand Prize, I can build a well!
I toyed with dozens of ideas for the Trazzler #NYCGO writing contest but was struck time and again by this photo that I snapped of Than Bon, my tuk-tuk driver from Siam Reap. We became fast friends. He was reliable, funny, and incredibly proud of his tuk-tuk, one of the most well-maintained and polished in all of Siam Reap. On the August day that I took this photo in 2007, the heat was too much for Than. He left his belt and khakis on and dove into the muddy water. It was his ultimate oasis.
Than Bon is part of a community where 63% of the population don't have access to safe drinking water.
I was intrigued when Than suggested that we get out of the city centre and visit some floating villages on the Mekong River. We rode on the back of Than's friends' mopeds, fulling trusting that we'd arrive safely at our destination; and we did. Immediately I was bombarded by children; the most beautiful children. Some wanted money, some wanted me to buy their bananas, all wanted attention. One young Mom passed her child into my arms. I hugged her and held her for an unusually long time. I had to be beckoned to move on and give the child back, as our boat was about to depart.
It was a bustling water world floating atop the Mekong River. More children and teenagers were tending to much of the daily tasks: begging for money, chopping fish heads, operating boats that were bigger than them. Everything was floating: schools, markets, homes, churches. A community whose livelihood depended on one element: water.
The people of Cambodia are special. They embrace travelers with genuine care, curiosity and generosity. They left a lasting impression on me. They deserve to drink fresh water.
About Charity Water
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