Kchas village has remained one unforgettable bitter experience of my life. My family had one soil well (hand-dug well) in front of the house approximately 4.50 meters deep, and this well supplied 10 people in my family. I have heard many times about villagers not having enough water. In some years my soil well dried up due to summer, so my brother had to go to a well nearby. It was very hard to do alone and I was too small to carry water then. One day all my brothers and sisters went to play with some friends and others went to the market. With the exception of my eldest sister. She stayed and cleaned the rubbish from under the house. I was lonely and there was nothing to do. Just then I got a silly idea to check the water level in the soil well. So, I walk over to coconut tree and took a dead branch off to make a water measuring stick. Wow! I looked at the branch and it was too short to reach the water. So I moved further into the well, but still the stick was too short, so I just keep moving more and more like a snake moves, into the well until the branch reached the water. I was so happy. My body had become lighter and lighter till I fell into the well and inhaled a lot of water. Luckily my mom had just bought a pig not so big but as heavy as I was.
My sister heard a sound of falling but she didn’t pay much attention but thought maybe someone’s pig fell in the well because in the countryside animals move around freely. She stopped cleaning and thought of her pig and ran as fast as she could to see what happened. To her surprise, after seeing my hair floating, she screamed “brother, brother is that you?” I could not answer and she jumped into the well and grabbed me. She called all the men nearby my house to help. After, some of the men took my legs and shook my body to get the water out from my lungs. They put me on a bed in front of my house beside the fire and smacked me on the bottom for approximately 10 to 20 minutes. Ladies and gentlemen, that is my story. Because this happened that is why my heart tells me every day to help others, and throughout my experiences I have learned that I can help the poor people in my country as I have the knowledge to deal with local issues and local partners to accomplish the first steps to overcoming poverty. It has become my hobby and passion, which means no donor will ever pay my salary. Separate from my work as a tour guide, I use all my non-working hours to help the poor people of Cambodia to have a better, safe life with clean water to use every day of their lives. Thank you, Ly