You know sometimes other peoples lives can make your problems seem so insignificant.
Take this guy Ra
He's 39 years old.
He was 5 or 6 years old when the Khmer Rouge forcefully relocated the intire population of Phnom Penh to the Cambodian countryside.
Through child's eyes he watched countless murders. Including those of his farter, his uncles, his aunts and his neighbors. Witnessing the brutality of a rageim based in fear, suspicion and denial.
By year zero Ra would have been ten. At this time in Cambodia any form of artistic expresion or even the slightest sugestion of an education was deemed dangerous to the young government and therefor eradicated through extermination.
For Ra the very idea of learning to read would have been like contemplating suicide.
For Ra staying alive meant learning to act ignorant.
See Ra is a very intelegent and influential figure around the lakeside.
He's also one of the most inginious men I've ever seen solve a problem. He's like the Cambodian Magiver.
These days Ra's son goes to school daily and Ra sits with him when he gets home until his homework is finished.
He showed me a book about the British army and pointed and the word fieldmarshal. I told him the pronunciation and meaning of the word and he explained that he was trying to learn to read English so he could read this book.
I said I'd try and help him if I could.
He laughed, slapped my shoulder and walked away shaking his head.
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