A few months ago the Governor of our Province donated two truckloads of wood to our community, for use with the cremation of COVID victims. At the time I thought he had grossly overestimated what our need would be.
But I was wrong… here is all that we had left a few days ago.
I called the COVID office but was told there was no more money at the time to buy wood and we would have to find our own supply. On our property, there are some older trees that have died and we decided to take them down.
With the help of some men in the community, we carefully took them down, and while the men with the chainsaws cut them up in smaller pieces, the children brought them to the Crematorium.
Somoeun, our new Director of Programs, demonstrated how to split the logs into usable sizes… most of the time by swinging the axe only two or three times. The guys spent much of the next two days attempting to match his technique but found it a little more difficult than he made it seem.
Because the rainy season is upon us we had to move all of the wood to higher ground since waterlogged wood is difficult to burn. It was a lot of work but we are now prepared for several more cremations…
and even though COVID cremations have been down lately with only one or two per week, we would gladly have worked in vain if there was no more need for further cremations. Thanks for stopping in.
With the arrival of ambulances with bodies for cremation once or twice a day, nearly every day of the week including Holidays and weekends, we are constantly reminded of just how close we are to the COVID-19 virus. For that reason, we have taken every precaution to protect our children.
Cambodia doesn’t have the same problems as some other countries, with protests and demonstrations against the vaccines… they are available to anyone who wants them, and most do, although there are a few who refuse to take them for a variety of reasons… some legitimate and others more ignorant or fear-based.
Our children are fearless, however, and for that reason, we had no difficulty getting them to jump into the truck and go to the local health center.
With this group finished we now have all but two Watopotians, over the age of six, who have received their second dose of the vaccination.
And so we can relax a bit until this crisis passes, knowing we have done all we can to protect ourselves and others.
I do understand the reasoning behind some of the anti-vaxxer’s resistance but much of the information they are receiving is flawed. I heard one report that said the vaccine will cause brain damage in the long run… but judging from some of the people being interviewed, the damage has already been done.
In the darkest of times, we stand at the Threshold of an Awakening to Truth and the transformation of ignorance into Wisdom and Compassion.
Some of the older children have questioned my choice of the color black for our Buddha in the Memorial Garden at Wat Opot and I have tried to explain it by telling them that the color Black represents the difficulties and hardships that we go through in Life… such as losing a parent or family member, as many of them have already experienced and as many of the family members are now experiencing when they come to Wat Opot to cremate their own family member because of COVID. The experience can be very painful but as time passes we begin to understand and appreciate Life in a new way and that understanding leads us to become more understanding and compassionate to others.
I am not sure if that explanation would satisfy Buddhist scholars but it seems to have made sense to the children, and to the families who now come to wait for the cremation fires to perform their function.
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