I have been back from Cambodia for several months, and am currently studying at Weimar University in northern California. I’ll certainly share about that someday; but I still have stories to tell from Cambodia, and I hope to share many of those over the next few weeks/months. So, enjoy!!
It was a gloomy, cloudy, and wet day. I leaned to the left as I brought my moto around the corner and headed up the last stretch to the school. I confess that my driving had become very Asian, and I usually took this corner pretty fast; but I slowed down a little on this day because of the mud patches on the cement. Obviously, some trucks had come before me and spilled some of their dirt loads sporadically across the road as they went. As I approached the school, several of our Khmer staff kids, who live across the road, were getting ready to run across the street and up the school driveway, but stopped to wave at me as they saw me coming. I waved back and flipped on my turn signal, then braked as I saw a bulldozer come rolling down the school driveway to the edge of the road. Weird. It startled me a bit, but I drove around it and up the driveway, parking in the covered motorcycle parking in front of the school.
I soon learned what happened. The school was on a hill, with steep slopes running down from the edges of the school to the tall cement wall around the property. We planned to bring in loads of dirt and fill in those slopes. A flatbed truck was slowly carrying the bulldozer up the steep driveway, unsecured. As the truck went over a bump, the bulldozer rolled off. Because of cement walls on both sides of the driveway, I saw nothing until the heavy machine rolled out of the driveway just in front of me. Had I come a few seconds sooner, I would have been following the truck up the driveway, and the bulldozer would have rolled over me. Had I been a few seconds later, the staff kids, who were excited to see the bulldozer, would have run across the road and would have been running up the driveway behind the truck. Either way, it could have been a disaster.
Cambodians are experts at carrying things. I’ve seen at least five people on a moto, (and once had four on mine); I’ve seen someone carrying a refrigerator on their moto; and so many other motos, tuktuks, and trucks that would, by American standards, be considered dangerously overloaded. As I left Cambodia to fly home, I saw a shop in the airport that sold a few photo books about Cambodia, one of which was dedicated to photos of the stuff people carry on their motos.
However, as I experienced, the loads people carry aren’t always secured very well.
I am thankful that God was carrying me, and the staff kids, on that day, and He secures His loads better than anyone else on earth.
Photos: the bulldozer, with the steep driveway behind it (above); some of what Cambodians carry (below)