Nang’s Story

Nang’s Story – first published October 14 2011.

We start with notifications of edits and additions over time, starting with the most recent.

August 4 2017 – Video of Peery learning Khmer tradtional dance.

On May 18 2017 I added two new photos of Peery

Nang’s Story has been added to and edited several times. Today, February 8 2015 I’ve added 17 photos from February 1 and 2.

Our story begins in September 2005.

Nang was born in our village – Chuor Ph’av (pronounced Joo Pow) in 1990 – no one is sure of the exact date but it was after a 10 month confinement (Nang’s ID card says January 1st but that’s the default birthday when no one knows the real one!) Her mum, Cheng, is alive and well but her Dad died when Nang was 10 years old. Nang has a sister – Mab, born in 1994. Cheng has not remarried. Nang didn’t go to school because there wasn’t one.

I first arrived in the village in 2005. I was staying for a few days and I was the first non-Khmer to be seen in the area in living memory – although 50% of the village is below age 15 (high death rate more than high birth rate) there are 5 people out of the village population of 1000 in their 80s.

I was shown around the village (see ‘Village Life’ section in this site and other sections too) and almost in passing I was told, ‘there’s a crazy girl lives next door, don’t go near her.’. I asked, ‘What do you mean, “crazy?”

‘We’ll show you when they bring her back!’….This very poor family – $300 annual family income from rice – had gone on one 100cc motorbike to the town of Kompong Cham, two hours away, where they were spending $150 for a traditional shaman to cast out Nang’s ‘evil spirits’. They believed she was ‘possessed.’

As it happened, next morning, at 2am someone called out, ‘John, Nang crazy!’ I got up from my mat on the split bamboo floor and ran next door to find mum (Cheng, pronounced Jane) and Mab attempting to restrain a thrashing Nang. She settled and they turned the unconscious Nang onto her back and started heavy duty massage while Nang choked on her tongue and struggled to breathe. What happened next was the first of a great many special moments within this astonishing story: – I didn’t know ANY Khmer words but I knew what to do. Mum and sister Mab loved Nang but they were doing all the wrong things. I crouched down beside them on Nang’s mat and gently removed their hands and in one easy move, placed Nang in the ‘recovery position’ –  on her side, upper knee bent and upper arm raised near her head as if asleep on her side. Tilted her head slightly to open her airway and checked she wasn’t swallowing her tongue.

Instantly her breathing became completely OK..It was the first stage in the family possibly believing that there might be help. The second came 10 seconds later with Chanthou who was by now translating (and still is except that  I can now speak Khmer) for me. I said to Cheng, ‘She’s not crazy, she’s sick!’ Nang was still 15 years old.

The village had seen that I had headache tablets and Cheng immediately responded with, ’Have you got any tablets for her?’

That question from Cheng was an enormous leap from Nang’s perceived condition ten minutes earlier. Ten minutes earlier she was apparently ‘possessed’. Nang had been unwashed, feared by the village since she was around 12 (possible onset of her epilepsy) very lonely and loved only by her mother and sister. I told them that it seemed clear to me that I had witnessed an epileptic seizure and she was now in the recovery stage. I had changed their future but it meant that I had to follow through and support Nang at least for a while.

Dr. Din lived in the village but knew nothing of epilepsy and REFUSED to help treat her – the reasons for this only became apparent sometime later and it is detailed in the ‘Khmer Rouge’ section of this site.  briefly, Dr Din received a total of one year’s training as a medical student prior to the onset of the KR years in 1975 and immediately post the KR years in 1980 all students were told they were now DOCTORS since there was no chance of teaching restarting for some years…..BUT unfortunately Din let me down many times after that with all offers to help him learn more utterly rejected.  On one spectacular occasion {dealt with when we get to 2010} when Din had the only car in the village and I desperately needed to get Nang to hospital he refused because, “It would be bad luck for me and my family if she were to die in my car.” April 12 2010.

So, back to what is now 3am and Nang is recovering and the family has been told it’s a sickness: In the morning I phoned an English Doctor in Phnom Penh and made an appointment.

At this point most western rules go out of the window.

I took Nang and Cheng the 4 hour motorbike journey to Phnom Penh and paid in Cambodian terms an enormous $50 to TALK with the Doctor. He refused to care for her because she would be too far away in the Provinces and he would only give me one piece of advice – “Get a CAT scan and bring it back to me and if it’s epilepsy I’ll give you the names of medicine and then it’s up to you which one if any you choose. You will buy it and choose the dose and monitor as you see fit.”

He was, to put it mildly, cynical and pessimistic. But as it turned out, his advice was all we needed. (I almost forgot – even though she had not had sex he tested her for HIV…it can cause seizures) I found a hospital and paid $80 for a CAT scan. The scan showed scarring consistent with epilepsy. The Doctor gave me a list of possible medicines and I chose Tegretol  (chemical neme – Carbamazepine). He said check the literature and vary the dose, “as you see fit”!

There are no such things as ‘prescription’ or ‘restricted’ medicines in Cambodia. There are registered pharmacies on most streets in every town and large village in Cambodia… 1000s of them.

My first experience of Cambodian pharmacies had been in 2004 – “I’ve got a headache – do you have any medicine please?”

The pharmacist had replied, “Would you like Morphine?”

To which I responded,” err…no – do you have paracetamol?”

So it was easy to buy Tegretol and still is. The pharmacist on the corner of 148 Street and Psar Kandal is now a good friend of mine. Back in 2005 after chatting with the pharmacist we concluded that Nang try 100mg in the morning and 100mg at night. It was a small dose according to the pamphlet in the box.

We went back to the village and started the medicine. She became too sleepy during the day. I phoned the Phnom Penh Doctor for advice but he refused to even comment. So… now it was up to Nang, her mum and ME….actually, ME. We did the obvious and moved the whole 200mg to bedtime. For almost a year IT WORKED!

There were three seizures now but two of them were potentially life threatening situations with 4 seizures immediately following each other. I phoned a doctor friend in Australia and it was probably Status Epilepticus and if that happened to get an injection of Valium into her(!)… I bought Valium but never had to use it. On talking with neighbours, repeating seizures had been frequent in the past.

Meanwhile Nang’s rehabilitation happened, teaching her to take care of herself again.

Nang was 16 years old in this photo. (this, February 2015 is the village’s favourite photo of Nang) She had taken her medicine for almost a year and her confidence was building.

Nang is standing by the pump. Taking a full part in family life. She seemed fit and strong.

During 2007, unbeknown to me, Nang’s mum and Auntie and various older women hadn’t given up on the belief that either Buddha, ghosts, karma or a combination was responsible for her possession by SPIRITS and the answer according to the old ladies was sex.

Sex meant a husband and by now she was almost 17. VERY sadly, when Nang had been a lost cause , crazy and unwanted, a VERY poor marriage was brokered for when she was older. But now the time was ‘right’. The boy whose name was ‘Boy’ was from the nearby village of Prey Cherean. Unusually for Cambodia, because the women had decided that SEX was the treatment of choice, it was to start immediately while the actual huge Khmer ceremony was being planned.

I PROTESTED LOUD AND LONG and on several occasions Nang fought him off. All too briefly Nang’s protests delayed the actual ceremony.

Nang married Boy and very reluctantly I played a role similar to ‘giving the bride away’ in the west. I’ve included several wedding photos. Boy is happy, Nang is not, and there’s one of Nang with me in a red tie.

Getting made up for her wedding.

Nang and Boy with garlands.

With a friend, Ran, who had done the makeup and got Nang ready.

Nang and Boy.

It was a full Khmer Buddhist wedding.

At the party late that night.

Earlier in the day, at the start of the ceremony I am standing with Nang.

ANOTHER ILLNESS was slowly taking over Nang’s body but at the time no one had any idea what it was, or even if she was actually sick! BUT she was definitely becoming thinner and more frail…. And pregnant.

At that time I didn’t have facebook or a website to use so I was sending emails out to friends, family and Rotary. Most of the faces you see in ‘Village Children’ and ‘Village Life’ have quite a history in those emails but gradually I was getting ‘how is Nang?’ messages from around the world so from about this point,  I kept everyone up to date with ‘Nang’….. and from here on the story took many dramatic turns… it’s been a fight for survival. Nang is very determined to live.

At age 15 Nang was strong – epileptic but strong and properly muscled. After the marriage she was 17 and quite frail.

Nang miscarried that first pregnancy and the Doctor in Phnom Penh gave me one more piece of phone advice – ‘Next time get the doctor to give the baby a Vitamin K injection immediately after the birth or you could lose the baby too.’

We got Nang to Prey Veng regional hospital for the birth in November 2009. I had asked them ten times to have the Vitamin K on hand but they hadn’t got it. To everyone’s relief the baby was healthy; Nang wasn’t.

There are some beautiful photos of Nang breast feeding baby Peery. By this time I am Da John (Grandpa John) { no relationship with Nang’s mother, Cheng, but clearly I am a surrogate father for Nang.}

Happily pregnant

 

Granny (khmer – yea) and Nang with baby Peery.

 

This was my Christmas photo 2009, with the caption, ‘we don’t have Christmas in Cambodia but maybe we do.’

 

 

A very happy mum.

 

 

 

A Grand Tour of Clinics.

On April 12 2010 I was in Prey Veng town. Very fortunately I had the use of a borrowed car. I was a one hour drive from the village and it was 9pm. I’d given Nang a mobile phone. Cheng called me and said, ‘Nang choo tom tom.’ (choo – sick. tom – very). ‘Choo cor tom tom tom’ (throat). In fact Nang could hardly breathe.

Cheng said, ‘som muntipet’ (please hospital). I called Dr. Din who I knew was in his home in the village – (see earlier in this story) – he refused to help even though he had a car (earlier story).

I drove back to the village as fast as I could – cattle, dogs, pigs and chickens roam the tracks and roads –

Chanthou’s brother, Wey, had Nang, mum and Boy (husband) on an old motorbike coming to meet us and although it only saved us 10 minutes, it made me feel reassured and happier, knowing that someone else was trying to help.

We transfer a gasping Nang to the car and I drive fast the hour to a small clinic in Prey Veng town – woke them up and wasted 20 minutes for them to tell me they didn’t know what to do. So at 11.30pm we get to Prey Veng Provincial Hospital. I move a motorbike to give Nang some floor to lie on. They tried the ‘if in doubt give ‘serum’’… Anyone who knows Cambodia knows that for absolutely ANY illness, Doctors rig up an IV infusion of salt and sugar and might add vitamins. It’s a common site in Cambodia to see someone returning home on a bicycle or motorbike with an infusion raised on a length of bamboo – when it’s drained, remove it yourself.

By 2am on the 13th Prey Veng couldn’t help anymore. To the South – The Mekong ferry to Phnom Penh wouldn’t open till 4am.

I decided to drive us all North to the big regional hospital in Kompong Cham. We arrived in Kompong Cham at 4am after the fastest driving I have ever done, sadly killing a dog on the way and badly damaging the front of the car in the process.

In Kompong Cham as dawn was breaking they attempted another infusion and giving oxygen but everyone was in great distress. At this stage I was pouring out smiles and apparent confidence to try to reassure Nang but it certainly wasn’t catching –floods of tears from mum.

By mid morning I’d re-parked the car and privately hired an ambulance and two paramedics to get her to a Hospital in Phnom Penh – a hospital that I’d never heard of called CALMETTE on Monivong Boulevard. (NOW, in October 2011 Calmette is almost a second home and it is partly for Dr Tour Suy {Dr. Suy pronounced soy) that I have written this.

{ I cannot praise Calmette highly enough. With limited resources and people sick and dying all around them they are incredible…. Relatives sleeping under plastic all over the grounds ready to feed and wash their relatives. I talk about Calmette in several other parts of the site.}

So… we are in an ambulance for the three hour ride to Phnom Penh – siren blaring and lights flashing. Oxygen, but breathing an enormous effort.

Quickly and efficiently because we’d arrived in MY ambulance we are in a packed Emergency ward waiting for a Doctor. My paramedics wondered what to do next so I paid them extra to drop our bags off at a cheap guesthouse before their return to Kompong Cham.

–         She died and lived.

Now it turned out that Nang had forgotten to take Tegretol for four days, being so distressed with breathing, and so as if to cap off our journey to get here, right here on her little examination trolley Nang had a massive Grand Mal seizure. Doctors appeared and luckily I was there to explain the situation. I was holding Nang putting her in the recovery position when she went into complete respiratory failure. She stopped breathing.

I screamed for a respirator.

One was found and connected up. A mobile overhead x-ray was done of her chest which found white dots. The diagnosis that day was TUBERCULOSIS and everyone disappeared and some returned with masks. I thought I was safe because in 1958 I’d had an injection of BCG.  (I was wrong.. apparently I was probably safe from TB till about 1965!) Mum and husband wore masks. I was stupidly brave.

The Emergency Doctors told us that they’d get her through this immediate crisis and will soon send her home ‘to die at home’.

I was amazed and angry. Later that day in my notes I wrote:

I try fairly successfully to be cheery – as opposed to her mum and husband who are bawling in front of Nang! On the phone I’ve got her sister, Mab, to understand the reason for cheeriness, and anyway she could still get better!!…HEH, I retain hope that for no apparent reason, Nang will improve…. Sorry to be writing flippantly but it’s only to cover the torture of watching her slowly drown.’

 

 

Day one: they hadn’t told us yet, ‘we’ll send her home to die.’ Mum still at the bedside.

Things got bizarre… Husband and mother decided to go home (4 hours away) to arrange the funeral and I refused to leave her bedside for days and days and days so she couldn’t be discharged. They changed the diagnosis to Pneumonia but they really had no idea what was wrong. They decided that although Tegretol hadn’t CAUSED the problem it might be worsening it so Tegretol was stopped.

Over this period of time Nang’s milk dried up and I phoned Cheng to get milk formula for Peery.  Peery would quite possibly have died without this milk powder for the next 18 months as there is no alternative to breast milk in rural Cambodia.

Nang improved and was sent home but without any medicine or treatment because no one knew what was wrong. Monthly I took her to Calmette to be checked. Peery thrived.

Peery was thriving on bottled milk but Nang was becoming frail and we didn’t know why.

Chanthay the 4 year old who lives opposite is great company for a very thin Nang.

 

A LOT of rest

 

 

Double Vision

In late December 2010 Nang was very concerned by ‘double vision’. Also I had noticed that increasingly her left eye appeared to be looking somewhere else! You can see it clearly in some of the photos.

Three photos of an ever sicker Nang but a thriving Peery. Something is wrong with Nang’s left eye.

A VERY healthy Peery

I took Nang to the Eye Hospital, just over the Japanese Bridge between Tonle Sap and The Mekong. To my astonishment, the Doctor there said he believed that Nang’s double vision was somehow linked to her breathing difficulties but couldn’t elaborate… what he was very close to was – Dr Suy’s diagnosis two weeks later.

OUR DOCTOR

So it was that two weeks after the Eye Hospital, Respiratory Failure was repeated but we got her from the Village to Phnom Penh in time. It was in Calmette that we met Dr.Tour Suy who re-evaluated  Nang’s case especially in light of the apparently weak eye.

Doctor Suy with Nang at Calmette Hospital July 2011.

Dr. Suy became quite excited when he realised that ALL her signs and symptoms matched MYASTHENIA GRAVIS and she was immediately commenced on Mestinon tablets – five every day for two years…….so again, without the intervention of a foreigner – me – she would die. $2.50 every day is the cost. $2.50 is two and a half times the entire family income.

Myasthenia Gravis is an autonomic disease affecting the nervous system. In the west the disease is no longer considered fatal but when sufferers do die it is usually from respiratory failure.

The Tegretol had been restarted a year ago but as there had been no seizures the dose was lowered and then stopped.

Nang July 2011.

Domestic problems and violence.

Husbands in Cambodia often hit their wives.

Domestic violence is expected to be dealt with and somewhat controlled by wider family members keeping an eye on it!

In late January 2010 Nang returned home with her new medicine. It is always with her very much like a security blanket. There’s a photo of Nang with the month’s supply next to her.

Nang with her new life saving medicine – Mestinon.

Boy – her husband – had had enough. He shouted. “ You are always sick and wasting money.” Then when I wasn’t around, he beat her savagely with a one metre length of unbending wood.

Boy left her immediately and I made my concern and fury over his violence widely known. The girl we had moved Heaven and Earth to save……  I made it quite clear that he was not welcome.

The Mestinon commenced and I think Nang improved a little and Peery is growing.

Almost as a sign of danger, Nang’s eye fluctuates from good to bad.

I bought apples from Phnom Penh. Their first apple.

…so happy.

Right now in October 2011 Boy wants $200 or he says he will move back in!…. Amazing as that must seem that is what frequently happens. Marriage is largely matriarchal in that the young husband moves into his wife’s family home and is treated like an extra son by the elders of the family. The $200 (I have heard of husbands asking for $2000) is for loss of ‘convenience’ and loss of ‘face’. The fact that he caused the problem is irrelevant. At the moment I have pointed out to the family that he wants $200 and if he moves back in without me around he will definitely not get $200. So I’ve told them to tell him to wait while I consider it – and I am.

In late September 2011 it all happened again – rush to Calmette and one week on a respirator – then Nang keeps taking the tablets and she is still alive. Intensive care, even just seeing a Doctor, costs money in Cambodia and without help Nang would have died long long ago and thousands of people with diseases and from road accidents, do precisely that – they die.

As each day, week and month goes by, Peery  gets older and Nang is a truly wonderful mother. Peery  now can eat and drink relatively inexpensively. Peery and Nang love each other and Cheng is a loving Grandmother and Mab – a fun Auntie.

The family in July 2011: from left – Peery, Mab, Nang and Cheng.

Peery and Yea (Granny)

Chanthay’s auntie found a teddy bear in Phnom Penh

Peery of course has no idea just how complicated life is.

There are at least two major unplanned spin-offs:-

1 For the first time in history, the villagers have some hope that if you don’t get better by yourself death is not inevitable. So far we have taken five other villagers to Calmette. We are building a tiny clinic central to five villages and part of its role will be to determine who needs to go to hospital.

2. I have come to learn that what is needed here to lift medical treatment from the bottom step of the ‘health ladder’ is money and then volunteers. The love at Calmette Hospital is unsurpassed anywhere….OUR task is ‘promoting health’ through good nutrition, sanitation and hygiene ‘preventing sickness’ and ‘recognising sickness’ and recognising who needs a big Hospital and getting them there!

Post Script

Today it is Thursday October 13th 2011. I am in Beaudesert Australia putting all these paragraphs together ready to insert photographs through the text. I’m in Australia to talk about Cambodia and try to raise money for our village projects.

Six days ago Nang was still in Hospital and a friend of mine here donated some money specifically to help Nang. I sent it via MoneyGram to Phnom Penh. (MoneyGram is much cheaper than Western Union). Nang was on a respirator and a little more money was sent to complete what was expected to be three more days in hospital.

BUT – I had miss-typed the MoneyGram ID number and the bank would not pay out to Nang’s mum, Cheng. Cheng was flustered and thought  I’d not sent any money.. She returned to Nang in intensive care and they had no alternative but to discharge Nang. They disconnected the respirator and told mum to take her home. It was only when they got the 4 hours home that Nang’s sister Mab phoned me and explained it all to me in Khmer.

I was frozen with wonder and fear. I raced to the Agent here in Australia to get the correct ID numbers and within 5 minutes sent fresh texts to Cheng…. Back on a motorbike and back to Calmette.

I have absolutely no criticism of Calmette Hospital. Every day 150 patients die in that hospital largely through lack of medicines and equipment. Intensive care is $45 day. 80% of Cambodian families make far less than $2 per day.

Nang is not safe yet – far from it, but she is happy because she is alive.

John Mann October 15th 2011

HELP

If you’d like to help with the  village HEALTH specifically, then please go to the Paypal section (Clee is saying HELP) and donate and send us an email or call one of us to talk about it.

This photo was taken on December 9 2011 and added on the 10th. It shows a happy Peery playng with friends.

John.

 

And added on December 26 2011 during a visit to the villages by Roland and Eva from Sweden, they meet Nang and Peery and Nangs mother – Cheng. Not only have Roland and Eva given a major donation to the schools but today they have helped with money for vitally needed medicine for Nang.. One photo is all of us together and in the other photo I am withy Nang and again you can see Nang’s difficult eye.

 

 

 

 

On January 25 2012 a group of Australian Rotarians visited to see the schools so far and progress with our clinic. They chatted to Nang in the village, so there are two more photos of a particularly frail Nang posted in the BLOG dated February 3. I will post more within Nangs Story very soon. (todaqys date February 12 2012.

Although the last addition two weeks ago in the BLOG shows a frail Nang, she has improved a little:

These four photos are added today – February 26 2012 – We saw two Doctors in Phnom Penh. For some time Nang has had double vision when she uses both eyes. (each eye separately sees well) -You can see that for a long time her left eye has drooped; this is the problem. Dr Suy told us that her sickness, Myasthenis Gravis is the cause of the double vision and to keep taking the Mestinon tablets and her eyes along with her breating should improve.

This photo, taken  February 4 2012, is in Dr Suys Calmette Hospital office. He has examined her and she is to continue with the same medicine

 

BUT a determined Nang asked to go to the Eye Hospital to see if glasses might help.

Nangs eyes were examined and I explained the Myasthenis Gravis issue.

 

The eye doctor who was so kind and helpful said he couldn’t promise anything but we could try coloured lenses which might help. THEY DO – a little.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The consultation, a week to make the lenses AND the frames US$20. Worth it for the happiness alone.

 

Added July 1 2014

Peery is now four and a half years old and she is clever, fit and well. Her mother Nang who you will see in the last few photos of today is struggling, has lost the sight in one eye and we’ll try to save the sight in the other eye, BUT she continues as a great and happy mother to Peery. ALMOST all of today’s photos are of Peery.

Children in our villages usually start school when the teachers (who are very much part of our community) think they are ready – usually at 5 or 6 years of age.

Peery is four and a half but bright and keen… so this is Peery’s first day at school. In several photos you will see she is helped by Chanthay, her neighbour, and you can find photos of Chanthay in the section on village children.

I followed Peery around on her first day.

We are trialing a way to introduce writing to the beginners using chalk and small blackboards. they are learning to write in their own language, Khmer, and the chalk and boards are easy to use – plus the teachers of large classes can see at a glance the work of every child and THEN walk round to correct. The trial is working very well.

 Peery by the school flag; her first day.

   Peery in the white head band.

   

 Peery immediately after school with her new chalk board and chalk; Nang sitting on the hammock in this photo has no idea what Peery is holding.

   Remember that NONE of our mothers have been to school. Nang cannot read and write her own language.

The sheer beauty of these last few photos is that Peery and her mother Nang will learn together.

Nang’s miracle continues. John.

The next two days of photos were taken on February 1 and 2 2015. Similarly the notes that I wrote at the time.

I jotted down these notes on a piece of paper:

“The saddest morning. I am sitting next to Nang who died one hour ago. A terrible scene of despair. ..Remember the ‘we don’t necessarily believe in miracles but we do rely on them….’ I’ve seen her just like this five times. When I arrived from just down the road, everyone shouted for me to help her .. I tried everything but all I could do was hold her and stay there while a lot of crying happened (including me) while I watched some men knock together a coffin next to us ready for the cremation tomorrow. More than unbelievably sad – it actually feels quite unbelievable. John.”

 within an hour the coffin is started right next to all the mourners and bedside. Nang is lying on an outside wooden bed. Peery watches – no idea what has happened.

  The coffin half built and decorated. The base is slats of bamboo – open top.

  Nang needs food and pots and pans ready for the next life so they are accumaulated and will make the journey to the funeral pyre in the rice field. (from there all those goods will be given to The Wat – temple)

 Ready to be carried to the Rice Field. The woven rope heading this way is the tied around the foerhead of her best friend from childhood times – Annie – Annie will metaphorically lead her friend to the next stage and onward.

 settling her onto the base of the fire before more wood is added. (Food carried at the back to help her journey – later given to The Temple)

 it couldn’t be a more beautiful setting.

 more wood is added.

I stayed with Nang throughout. When there were just cooling embers, two of us carefully sifted through and picked out every tiny fragment of  Nangs’s bones. There will be a ceremony on the 7th when these fragments are placed in a small shrine.

 after I got back from the embers, Peery wanted to show me her homework.

 

Then, I asked Peery to draw a picture,

 so… concentrating …

. ” mai’ (mum)

While putting this update together on February 8, Dr Suy has arrived in the village. The village is sooooo pleased and amazed that someone so very important should visit the village (see earlier in this story for Dr. Suy). Like me he can’t really understand why Nang died when she did – she had been feeling strong for days. But more than that – Dr Suy wanted to visit and pay his respects to his’ very important patient.’.

More of this story – and village health which I’ll continue under Nang’s banner – and “The adventures of Peery” as she grows up RIGHT HERE. Her grandmother will care for her and love her and I will love her and support her.  So, lots more to come …………………………..  John.

ADDED on April 15 2015

Yesterday was Khmer New Years day 2015 and these two photos were in the blog of that day!

 Peery on the left with her cousin  Chankim. If you can recall a photo from 6 years ago of a brand new mother lying over a hot charcoal bed – this is her baby!

 Taken on April 14 2015. You can see the original of the photo that Peery is holding if you scroll back a little with this – “Nangs Story’ . I had many photos of Nang printed and some framed – I have given them to Peery (Nangs daughter)..This photo is certainly a very important one for both Peery and the village. It shows Peery after her very first day at school TEACHING HER MOTHER. This natural process of spreading Education is happening right across our 12 villages.

EDITED IN (AGAIN) on December 26 2016.

       

Today as I edit this in, it is December 26 2016 and Peery is exactly 8 years and one month. She ran up to me and said, “I can fly.” I said, “I know – show me.”… and this what she showed me, tirelessly jumping her rope time and time again over a rock hard dirt floor. (These photos are in the Christmas Day post of 2016.)

The next two photos were taken in May 2017 on the two year anniversary of Nang’s death PLUS 100 days. the 100 day ceremony is to help Nang’s soul on its journey.

 

See the notes immediately above these two new photos.. These photos haven’t appeared in the Blog yet but will do later this May 2017.

 

Jana from Queensland in Australia supports Peery and I do too – we have bought Peery a bicycle so she can get to School. Why do we support Peery? If you have read the story so far – then you’ll understand – plus I promised Nang’s mother that we would take care of Peery.

On August 04 2017 we added this video of Peery learng Khmer traditional dance.