When you were 14 years old did you want to answer questions in class? How about share your most secret feelings with all of your class mates... No? Try Khmer counseling. Well, otherwise translated to me as a lesson in "talking abut yourself".
I arrived at the Children's centre thinking I would be seeing some sewing. No chance. Feelings were top of the agenda. Opening yourself up to the whole class of about 30 or so others. When I arrived the children were about half way through the session so I slipped in to watch. Their task was to talk abut 10 things that were listed on huge pieces of paper. Such as their feelings on: their family, sleep patterns, food, body, fears, future.... Not much really!!!
Like all good Khmer presentations each child gave their answers via a sound system and microphone! A fewwere laughing probably because they were afraid of crying as they spoke. Some of them cried -some of them sobbed about the way that they felt. Particularly about the abandonment of them by their family. There were a lot of red eyes in the audience as well as the speakers. Although it was in Khmer some of it was translated for me. It reminded me that despite the hard but seemingly happy exterior that many of the children have they do have deep rooted issues which remain with them as they strive for a better life at the Centre. A bit of therapy Khmer style.