|There is something quintessentially |
English about a Krama
It is taking a long time, for me at least, to ruminate upon my two-week experience in Cambodia, though I'm sure I'll have further reflections to make when I see the millions of photographs we brought back with us. Oscott is now veritably littered with authentic Khmer scarves from the Arrupe centre in Battambang, that I brought back with me as gifts. Needless to say, being that they appear to be something very different indeed in our own culture, those who received one from me didn't know whether to wash up with it, or eat cream-tea off it.
During our stay, we visited Kompong Thom, Kompong Kor, Siem Reap (made famous, perhaps, by the Angkor Wat world heritage site, where we spent a day, and saw lots of monkeys), Svay Sisophon, and Battambang. Of course, while staying in those places, we had several day trips to other centres within the parishes.
Even if we hadn't taken a picture of absolutely everything and everyone, I would like to think that I would have remembered all of the faces that we met. As I said to a bemused congregation in Battambang, and later on, recycled the same material in Ta Hen, that even though we could not speak the language, we recognised the welcome by the warm and beautiful smiles. Language is not just about words, after all.
I'd like to thank everybody in the Apostolic Prefecture who looked after us. We were greatly touched by the welcome we received, and we shall keep the Prefecture and its members in our prayers. I hope that you - if you are reading, which I'm sure somebody is! - enjoyed our visit as much as we did, and please pray for us too.