I lean in through the window of the taxi, take a deep breath to check for alcohol, drugs, or even worse; the dreaded durian fruit. My nose says all is well and I mumble, "Chatuchak Weekend Market." He nods and I climb in the back. I have a few hours before my team arrives and plan on using that time to say a quick hello to my friends who have stores at the market.
We arrive; and it's hot. So I pull out my bottle of water and at the exact moment that I decide to lift my bottle up and tilt back my head, I pass under a canopy rod. The bottom of the water bottle hits; making a crunching noise and shoving the bottle up my face. Now, in Thai culture you don't laugh at someone when they "do something stupid." I guess I was the exception; or it was too funny to not laugh, because to my right sat an older woman. She was set up under her shade created by the canopy (with the rod) selling her crafts. We make eye contact and for about 30 seconds we laugh until tears ran down our faces.
We bonded. These are the moments I love.
There's no point to this story, but I hope it made you smile.
I visit Cambodia twice a year and I want to give you a glimpse into the reason why.
When my team and I were in the village of Svay Pak, working with our partner ministry, we were told about a young girl, who at the age of 15, was sold for her virginity; by her mother. When she was returned home, her mother then proceeded to take her to a pimp who kept her in captivity.
She was held there for 22 days.
For some people, shopping is a necessary inconvenience. For others, it’s a hobby. For Connie Rock, it’s an extreme sport.
Nothing is off limits for Connie. She was raised in Bolivia and will barter with everyone, even if they aren’t selling.
It was our last day in Costa Rica. We were on a bus, riding back to San Jose after spending the afternoon exploring a volcano.
Staring out at the rolling green hills of Central America (and trying not to get carsick on the winding roads), Connie and I started brainstorming… and dreaming.