Princess Ouk Phalla, the wife of Prince Norodom Ranariddh, graced the Watopotians with her Royal presence. Princess Phalla was told about Wat Opot Children’s Community by our friend Chris Hillary. The kids are always happy to see Chris, not only because he donated roller blades to Wat Opot a few years ago,
but he’s also a musician and just a fun guy! So when Chris called to see if they could visit, we happily replied “Yes!”
Phalla was involved in a car accident in April of 2015 when the SUV she was a passanger in was hit by a dump truck laden with soil. After multiple surgeries, Phalla is on the road to recovery and although her physical body was affected by the accident, her large heart was not. This was evident in the large donation of snacks and even larger donation of candy! 50+Kilo’s!
Our inquisitive kids were curious about her injuries and she was very open and explained patiently what had happened. Our staff was honored to meet her and the kids couldn’t wait for the photo session that always follows someone’s visit.
The kids giggled when she had to have help figuring out how to take a photo with her camera, as they are more smart-phone savy than most!
After her party left, the kids ran to the café to see what treats were donated. They were figuring out how to divvy up the massive amount of candy, until their sugar filled dreams were shattered by the announcement that the candy would be shared. Wat Opot is generous in sharing when we have an abundance. Be it financially by helping out some village kids with their educational expenses or to help finance a sidewalk for the adjacent temple. So distributing 25 kilo’s of candy to the village was put up for a vote and was unanimously agreed upon.
The first step was to decide how. With school out for the summer, we would have to go door to door, so we loaded up the cart with candy and our youngest, Chetra.
After a briefing on the logistics on how this will work,
we headed off the property and down the road with our 4 willing volunteers.
The kids acting as runners would run to a house and ask how many kids lived there and they distribute a bag of candy per child.
As the morning wore on, we saw more and more happy faces and not only on those receiving.
The kids were so excited. They would run up to the cart and grab bags for their friends and teachers as we passed their homes. It was funny how news like this travels fast. Kids came racing up to us on bicycles having heard of the news. Photo ops were abundant.
During evening meditation, the kids are told to close their eyes and find their best friend; the best friend who is inside of them. Well during the walk, one of the boys said, “Melinda, I need a bag for my best friend.” After he was handed a bag, he grinned and pointed to himself. There’s always a cheeky one in the bunch!
As we neared the end of the dirt road which is over a kilometer from Wat Opot (where it meets the paved main road), we still had ¼ cart full of candy.
We were determined to give it all away, so we raised our age requirements and started giving candy to anyone we met, young and old!
Happy faces! Thank you for helping us help our community, Princess Ouk Phalla!
Oh and by the way, we still have 25 kilos left! That candy will wait until the first day of school when we will surprise our classmates with a back to school treat!