Let’s talk about Cambodia. Let’s talk to a Cambodian man born in Australia as a result of war. Let’s talk about what one asylum seeking family has given back to both countries.
Sometimes curiosity can take you on an expected journey. Sometimes a mixture of fortune and fate (if such things truly exist) throw opportunities at your feet, though you may not know it at the time.
A journey of self discovery. An offer of help to a group of strangers. An appreciation of one’s own good fortune alongside the humility to be the ladder for others when needed.
Sethy Ung is the first Cambodian to have been born in Australia. And he counts himself lucky as a result. We met and worked together as emergency medicine trainee registrars in Liverpool Hospital in the South-West suburbs of Sydney. While the rest of us took annual leave to go surfing or head off to exotic locations, Sethy quietly flew over to Cambodia to help a paediatric critical care facility with their staffing and training. Over time a few of the ED staff followed him over for a week or two.
But what happens when you leave? What benefit then has your presence been outside of the duration of you physically being there? How much can one person really achieve when there is so much to be fixed?
Quietly, Sethy found a way.
Relax. Listen. And then think about that idea that has been tapping away in the corner of your mind and ask yourself “What is stopping me?”
It starts with a decision.
For more on the origin story of the Angkor Hospital for Children visit the Friends Without A Border site – https://fwab.org/ahc/
Thank you to Sethy for sharing his story and thank you to Matt McPartlin for another thought provoking jellybean. Thank you also to Kong Bun Choeun who wrote the 1968 Khmer classic Mloup Snae Derm Sraulav ( ម្លប់ស្នេហ៍ដើមស្រឡៅ ) (Lovely Shadows) sung here by Sinn Sisamouth and Ros Serey Sothea. I rudely cut the duet in half but you can find this tune and many more at the Soundcloud page of Cambodian Vintage Music where they kindly allow free downloads. (How about that!)
Doug Lynch (with a sprinkling of Matt Mac Partlin)