The iron cow announces our presence. It bounces and shakes,
Crawling through piles of pumpkin colored dust.
Young Khmer children gather beside the bamboo fence,
Sneaking glances at the foreigners,
Gigging at the American “Sou S’dey”.
Enthusiastically waving back with wide, toothless smiles.
Motorbikes whiz past,
Occupied by helmetless passengers
Spraying dust on our sunburnt faces.
We scrunch our noses, wipe our eyes,
And wait for the next to come into sight,
Attempting to mimic the carefree lifestyles surrounding us
The cow stops. It can not walk through water with us clinging to its back.
Shoes in hand and pants rolled, we wade in with hesitation,
The cow following closely behind.
A teenager boy leaps into the deep water, soon emerging exploding with laughter,
The foreigners envy the simplicity of the lives before them, those of laughter, love and community.
We pay close attention,
We ask better questions
We seek better answers.