November 24, 2010

Cambodian Water Festival

I wore my blue Krama all day. In case you didn't read about it in the news, a  panic-fueled stampede during Cambodia's Water Festival killed nearly 350 people.

My Khmer teacher sent me a sad email this morning, and my Facebook Newsfeed is still with condolences and people checking on one another. I'm heartbroken because Cambodia is so close to my heart. The Water Festival celebrates the end of the rainy season and the flow reversal of the Tonle Sap River. The Festival is supposed to be a celebration of life, but this year it is marked with a great loss of life.

I'm not a religious person, but I prayed today. I prayed for my former students, coworkers and CWF staff.

I'm thinking about the families of those who never came home. They must go to the hospital and check if their loved ones are injured or dead. I'm thinking about the vivid red sunsets and the view at Riverside. I'm remembering my students laughter and the way they always answered, "stay home, watch TV" to any question about the weekend or holiday. Many times, I wanted to tell them to get out of the house and do something, but this time, I hope they were at home watching TV.