26 September, 2014

ALS Challenge - Wat Opot Children's Community

Oh the infamous Ice Bucket Challenge.  I saw postings of it a month ago and though “Wha…?”  They were postings from my friends in the US.  Many miles from where I sit typing.  I figured, oh another funny thing to watch.  I didn’t google it, I went on living my life. 

Then low and behold, it made it's way to my neck of the woods  It wasn’t long before I was tagged by my beloved godson.  Okay, now I must get serious about it.  Just what was the Ice Bucket Challenge?  Of course I had heard of Lou Gehrig’s disease….but ALS?  After research and video’s that brought me to tears, I decided that whether we complete the challenge or not, the kids should know about this.

Our kids take medicine every morning and evening to stay alive.  Without the medication, they would die.  Gail’s book talks about a time where they did just that.  Die.  No medicine, no chance of survival.  I don’t know that Wat Opot, although  I have witnessed the death of Lan Krome here.  A heart wrenching pain of loss.  What was it like to see that every day?

Peace Studies.  Yeah I learned so much in Peace Studies.  In Spain, so much theory made it seem likely that I could save the world; I mean, how hard could it be?  My semesters in Austria threw me into reality, a reality that regardless of what I know, I may not see the change in my lifetime.   It was kind of thrown into my face.  It may have seemed a bleak future of some, but for me, I accepted the challenge to “Be the change I want to see in the world”.  For me, that meant: to treat others how I would like to be treated.  However your religion translates that, you can’t possibly screw up another’s life living like that.  (Extreme addictions excluded).

I digress…where was I?  Oh yeah ALS Ice Bucket Challenge…

Well, I don’t have warm water to bathe in here.  If I may get so personal, my showering routine consists of dipping a dipper into a vat of water.  Water that gets pumped from our well into a large tank raised above the buildings and then flows into a small cement vat of water that is in my bathroom.

That’s why the challenge from my nephew took so long to complete.  Not only did I have to figure in how to make it challenging, I had 40 kids to fit into the equation.  Wayne and  I tossed it around for weeks….and he came up with the idea in the video.  Once that was decided, we really felt it necessary to inform the kids of the in's and out's of ALS.  

Some of them had heard of it and in Phnon Penh people were accepting the challenge and then were encouraged to donate to a local hospital.  All good and well, I thought the kids should know the origins of the challenge….so, many gathered around my computer and we “googled it”.  So many questions.  Good questions!  The Why’s the How’s and again, the Why’s.  I answered the best I could and resorted to the ALS website for the facts.

We also watch the challenge accepted by my mother, my cousin and others the kids  could relate to.

We then decided that tomorrow was the day!  So without further adieu, here is is:

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