20 October, 2010

Ralphie Part II, the saga continues...

Sooo I woke up this morning and remembered that Ralph was gone and wiped away a tear while heading to breakfast. On the way back to my room, who should appear but RALPHIE!!! His tail was wagging so much his whole butt was moving side to side as he ran to greet me. I was so happy to see him as I scooped him up into my arms. It had previously crossed my mind that he would run away back to his posh life at Wat Opot but when I didn’t see him by my door when I awoke, I figured the infamous Mr. Wat had secured him.

Ralph hung around all day but I kept him mostly outside, as I didn’t want him to get to comfortable again. He was content to lay outside the dorm door in the shade and wait for me as I came and went. His stomach was huge, so I assumed that the kids had fed him plenty of food for lunch.

This afternoon, I was working in the craft room when our two newest members of Wat Opot came wandering in. Channy (pronounced Johnny) who’s around 8 and her baby sister, Rortana, about a year and half came to us a couple of weeks ago after their mother died of AIDS. While the mother was alive, they lived in the slum area and Channy; the sole bread winner ‘worked’ selling flowers to tourists. Rortana is the quietest most content baby I have ever seen, and I have seen hundreds of babies! She must have had to entertain herself all day long while her mother was sick and her little big sister was out trying earn a living for the three of them.  Channy could play the part of Mogli from the Jungle Book any day!  She is just adorable!!

Here at Wat Opot, Channy can be a little girl again and not a mother to her baby sister and a caregiver to a sick mother. She is going to school for the first time and is able to run and play instead of work. Ratana is passed from one child to another (or one volunteer after another) all day long. The kids love her so much especially since she’s so passive. The other day, 3 year old Way was walking with her hand in hand to lunch. It was probably one of the most precious things I have ever seen…especially when he called my name and when I looked their way, Way gently put his arm around her as he grinned at me. 

Well, when Channy and Rortana arrived inside the Arts and Crafts room, Alphie ran in after them and playfully started nipping at Rortana’s dress. When Channy went to knock him aside, I showed her how to lure him away from her with some string.

As Ralphie tugged on his end of the string, both girls giggled in delight! They had so much fun with him and 15 minutes later as they scooted on out the door, Ralphie flopped down for a well deserved nap.


With Wayne in Phnom Penh, after dinner I headed to the kids dorm to give them their medicine and snack. After snack and in stride; Socheat came up to me saying “Melinda DVD, DVD”, which sounds more like dividy, dividy!  Soon, a couple of the other boys came in saying dividy, dividy.  When I said, "I already gave one to Socheat" Tia said, "no, Melinda, no DVD".  Knowing language barriors, I went to the TV to investigate the problem; which was not the DVD, but the kids showed me that the DVD player was gone. I said “Where is it” and the answer threw me for a loop!

They said “Mr. Wat has it”. I was dumbfounded and thought “Who in the Sam Hell is Mr. Wat and WHY in the hell does he have our DVD player!” Wanting to get to the bottom of this, I turned to 16 year old Srey Lak and said “Where does Mr. Wat live, I’m going to get it back.”

Srey Laki pointed over near my dorm room and gradually, the confused look on my face changed into that look you get when you all of a sudden remember where you left your keys. It all of a sudden hit me! Mr. Wat is not some old geezer who lives down the road and eats dog, instead Mr. Wat is 17 year old Vath who lives on the property.

Wayne had told me a couple of times that he thought the puppy was Vath’s (pronounced Vaht) because he has some little black puppies. Since the kids referred to Vath as Mr. and pronounced his name with a W instead of a V, I didn’t put 2 and 2 together. I walked to Vath’s room and there was the player hooked up to their TV which was surrounded by teen-age boys adn young monks. They handed it over to me with the “I am sorry, Melinda” theme that I have heard so many times before, to which I replied my own theme of “It’s okay” followed with a smile.

After handing over the DVD Player to its rightful owners; I headed back to my room shaking my head about the events in this past week. Mr. Wat, Vath, Ralph, Alphie, sweet little puppy, dog meat, etc…I am forced to realize that many times my life is like a big circus complete with animals, little people and many things that are not as they seem.  Ralph lives at Wat Opot and I can play with him to my hearts content for the next day or so. 

Sweet dreams Ralphie; stay safe until I return in January.


Feebs NZ said...

Oh my goodness .......I feel so happy now and with a huge hollywood sigh of relief I allow a big smuck smile appear on my face at the thought that Ralphie Alfie has still a chance in this world.!!!! Yay for Alphie and His mothers!!!!! And Yay for Alfie!!!
As for Vath.....he made need a kick for taking the DVD player......but I am sure you could handle that Kanas woman...ha ha ha ha. All the best for Nepal Melinda.

Melinda said...

Ralph the Alph will be safe while Kate and Chihomi are at Wat Opot in November. If he can make it through Dec. and part of Jan, he is home free!! :-)