Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Sophea is a fantastic worker and I really appreciate her hard work. She is very shy but when she opens up, she has a really nice laugh. I find Khmers like to laugh--they are not a sullen lot at all. She is always saying "aw-koon thom thom, bong srei" or "thank you big big, elder sister" (even though I am younger than Sophea--it's a form of respect). She is actually not well, and has a cyst which causes her much pain sometimes, yet she is always the first to help me with my bags when I arrive from Siem Reap. I have considered taking her to Vietnam to see a doctor but she says it is not necessary. Here she is in her house with her mother (left). On the walls of Khmer houses you will find pictures of singers and actresses and you can see some in Sophea's house. Also photos of her relatives, dead and alive. Sophea has had a very very tragic life, but to protect her privacy I won't go into details. She has one teenage daughter, still in school, who lives with her and her mom. Photo courtesy of Corey Torpie (

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