My friend’s promise to Cambodia and her dreams

My friend is one of the funniest people I’ve met in Cambodia and also quite an unusual Khmer (Cambodian) girl because she lives alone (and not with her family like many Khmer girls), studied outside of Cambodia for five years and can speak conversational Mandarin in addition to English and Khmer.

She’s smart, talented and can take fantastic job opportunities with a good salary in another country if she wants to. But she said, “I promised my school that I would do something good for my country. So I should stay in Cambodia before I go somewhere else.” I was really impressed by her dedication to Cambodia, where salaries are often low for many jobs, even for high-skilled ones.

While we were on the rooftop of one of the restaurants, her version of light conversation is asking us where we see ourselves in 10 years time. For herself, she said, “I want to own a small house with several children. I want to have an extra room with a library for children from grade 1 to 6 to read. I want a sustainable income so I can use to travel. And I want to go into space to see the moon and want to see for myself if the earth is really round.”

Whether people dream big or dream small, what ultimately separates the people who achieve their dream from those who don’t is persistence.