All you can hope for when traveling is to have moments. Moments that you will never forget, when you experience something real and true, when you connect with a place or the people in a place. On my last day in the temples of Angkor I had one of those moments.
As I sat reading about the temple behind me I watched a little girl. She gathered seed pods that have two leaves attached in such a way that as the fall from the tree they act as helicopter blades, slowing the decent. As tourist walked by she threw them into the air to applause and cheers from a growing crowed of picture clicking visitors. When the masses has moved on, I moved from my shady spot and walked up to her.
“Would you teach me how?”
She smiled and grabbed a bundle from the ground, handed them to me and gathered her own.
“One. Two. THREE!” she said and following her lead we three the pods into the air resulting in a shower of mini-helicoptors raining down on us. It was a fantistic sight, I felt like a five year old with a new toy.
This time I picked up my own pods and together we threw them into the air, drawing a bit of a crowd as we giggled. She couldn’t have been more than eight with big brown eyes and long brown hair that fell over her pajama looking outfit. I sat down and watched her again. She waded into the small pond and picked flowers out of the water putting them carefully in a straw that had been carelessly tossed into the pond. She giggled and handed me the bouquet.
“Aw Koon ” I said, Thank you.
I said good bye and turned to leave when she handed me a folded piece of paper, inside she had drawn a dancer.
“Aw Koon” It was the only thing I knew how to say. Scoutt had a candy in his pocket and gave it to her. Her brown eyes lit up and she smiled.
“Aw koon!” She said and ran away.