This is a demolition site next to my house. Can you see the toilet in the little yellowish box with every thing around it torn down? Yep, they've left that up until the very end!

Adults can make their lives very complicated. We try to work so hard so that we can get enough but then somewhere along the way we forget what “enough” is, so we just keep going on and on. We read books and exercise and do all the “right” activities that will make us smart or strong or successful or whatever, but we lose sight of what was it we wanted with our smarts, our strength, or our successes. We build in reality or in our minds grand palaces, beautiful to the eyes. But then the storm comes and shakes nearly everything to the ground. This is not all bad, however. The things that are left standing are just those things we should have been satisfied with in the first place.

Don’t make your life unnecessarily complicated. Remember the essential things. They are enough.
 
     -The Godmother
About open defecation in Cambodia: Half of Cambodians don't use toilets. The reasons are cultural but also logistical. Many people simply don't have access. Sadly, a lack of appropriate sanitation facilitates is among the top reasons young females drop out of school in Cambodia and around the world. For others, "taking care of business" that way is just how it's done here. Despite significant progress since 2000, open defecation remains an issue. It was good to see the construction workers next door making do.
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
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 are; otherwise, unsubscribve below.
This email and my work in Cambodia is made possible by the Maryknoll Lay Missioners program through which I work. To support me, use this secure online form. If you are outside the US, you can donate through PayPal.com (specify "maria_montello@yahoo.com" as the recipient).
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