A Family on the Edge

in Siem Reap, Cambodia




My hotel in Siem Reap looked out on this field that has 6 volleyball courts


It's a big spectator sport, and you see truly excellent players here




Here's what it looks like when empty


See that structure in the far left corner?


No, not the big white hotel



this one


The house has a dirt floor and is pretty much open to the air

This houses a family of 9




Wan Polly

the mother


When I asked her how life is for her, she said Not bad, not good; it just is



Sam Po

the father









They were married in 1994



The four girls


Mouy Chou

Mouy Khhen

Mouy Lang

Mouy kea



The three boys


Seng Ly

Seng Haw

Seng Hong



How about a tour of the palace?




The kitchen outside










Bedroom for 4 girls (the bamboo slats)




Bathing room




Laundry area

(no front-loaders here)




Laundry area

Fully solar





The refrigerator, behind which is the bedroom for 3 boys




Polly's and Po's bed

it doubles as the living room couch



The family has two small businesses


Sam Po services motorbikes (the two umbrellas on the left)


Wan Polly has a small store, selling snacks (the umbrella on the right)




That's Sam Po in the blue shirt


In a good month he earns $80 from the work

In a not-so-good month he earns $40

To put that in perspective, a 50kg bag of rice costs $35, and lasts the family a month



What makes it really tough is that he lost one leg at age three, and the remaining leg is not functional

So he cannot walk normally

He has to scoot around on his behind, to do his shop work




He does small repairs and tire work




Wan Polly at her shop, also out on the sidewalk


she sells snacks and sundries

she earns maybe $9 or $10 a day



Their finances were already precarious, but in late April 2012 Sam Po was in a motorbike accident

As of this writing (late May 2012) he's unable to work, and may not be for several months



Mouy kea, the oldest daughter, speaks pretty good English


She emailed me to let me know of this tragedy

(This is not an appeal for funds, but if you feel moved to donate something to help them through this time, I'll be happy to tell you exactly how)

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