Make your own fun
In this day and age we have so many toys and so many things to keep us entertained.  When kids (and us grownups) don’t have our games, smartphones, Internet, or other toys available, I hear some say, “I’m so bored..." A dear teacher friend of mine hears that a lot. Her reply: "You're not bored. You're boring!"

Have we forgotten how to play? Be creative! Do something new! It is more challenging—and better for us—to make our own fun.

     -The Godmother
Games Cambodian kids play: Cambodian kids are amazing in how they create their own fun. The kids in the photo had rigged up two pieces of wood to make something like a seesaw. Brilliant! Soccer balls are made out of the most interesting of materials. Everywhere you go, you'll see kids kicking shoes across the ground playing something between curling and bocce ball. After eight years here, the rules remain mysterious to me.

Though it was announced today by the prime minister today that Khmer New Year has been cancelled, during this time kids play special traditional games that won't likely be stopped with any decree. One of the games, Bos Angkunh (or "throwing the brown nut"), involves throwing a nut to and fro to hopefully collide with the other team's nuts. The winner, it turns out, gets to smash the other team's knees with their nuts. But, if the sound of the smack isn't quite right, then apparently the tables turn and the loser does the hitting. A rare opportunity is given for men and women, boys and girls, to touch one another in the playing of Chab Kon Kleng. Someone imitating a hen protects her "chicks" from another posing as a crow. The Khmer have their versions of tug-of-war (girls/women against boys/men) and even their own (clay!) piñatas. And more. All of the games involve using everyday objects, e.g., seeds, nuts, Khmer scarves, pots. Ah, Khmer games--no Internet access required, not even electricity. They make their own fun.
A Good Friday reflection: This week I wrote an article here about our struggle to understand whys of the coronavirus and a challenge as regards the what nows.
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Did you miss a previous Godmother's Advice email? 
  • #001: Khmer boxing & solving problems
  • #002: Workers' commute & "making room"
  • #003: Bright balloons & dangerous attractions
  • #004: Bats and others' ways
  • #005: Playing in the mud
  • #006: Tattoos and bad habits
  • #007: Make-believe
  • #008: Dental and other care
  • #009: Boat races and collaboration
  • #010: Loads carried
  • #011: Nothing beyond repair
  • #012: Solid bricks
  • #013: Toilet left standing
  • #014: Flying a kite
  • #015: Everyone is held
  • #016: Dry fish in the sun
  • #017: Little children
  • #018: Worth looking for
  • #019: Two-way windows
  • #020: Heroes emerge
  • #021: A wide net cast
  • #022: Take what you need
Background about this email: Several years ago, I was feeling like an inadequate Godmother due to my absence in the US and, consequently, my absence in my Godsons' lives. I decided to send what little advice I have as someone who has been in the world for 30 years longer than they. Thus was born my Godmother's emails--a tidbit of advice each week. I decided to share these emails with friends and others because I feel that  folks need some good, helpful or happy things in their Inbox these days. I hope these Godmother's advice emails are good, helpful or happy for you; otherwise, unsubscribe below.
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