Living in a third world country has its share of hilarious moments. Like when one of the staff try explaining that one of the girls has a lamb in her nose (instead of a lump), the hunt around the office to see if the mosquito racquet will also kill flies, along with the various tuk-tuk journeys, language barrier fails, and all-round wet-your-pants funny times!
Yet here in Cambodia there's a sad, serious side. And what I have had my eyes opened up to in the past few weeks is the impact of corruption and an unstable government. Some of the moments are funny. Like when you pay the police officer a few dollars for a coffee to get out of paying a driving fine. But unfortunately the corruption doesn't stop there... It keeps going to the point where the beautiful little girls I care so deeply about are the ones who are suffering.
Corruption in Cambodia allows a perpetrator of horrific crimes to pay his way out of a jail sentence. A judge gets some extra cash in his back pocket and a girl lives in continual fear, knowing that her perpetrator is still in the community. Government systems fail and children are put in unsafe environments.
This breaks my heart. And even more so that I know it doesn't only happen here. I know that the systems fail in Australia too. I've seen it. I know they probably fail in almost every other country too. It breaks my heart because it's the kids who are suffering and sometimes there's nothing I can do about it.
So tonight I am angry at corruption. I am angry when governments ignore their people. And I feel lost when I'm in the middle of it, watching it, unable to change it.
I don't know what the solution is. Poverty has no simple solution. I know that corruption and these government systems don't have a simple solution either. I just pray that those involved will see the faces of those who are affected, see the tears, see the results of their actions. I pray that the individuals will not be forgotten.