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Reflection: A great deal to be grateful for
loving2serve

I am so grateful for what I have
Grateful for all that I am able to give.

I am grateful for all that I have seen
And now able to share.

I've been able to see what some have and what many don't have. While this makes me grateful for my family, friends, education, this makes me even more grateful that I am capable of giving that much more. I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to work first hand with these women and children whom I have dedicated so much of my life to serving.

I know I won't always be able to come visit children in Cambodia, and other areas of Asia that need our help, but I know there are other ways of helping them. What an amazing world we live in where everyone is capable of helping everyone else. We are able to see others in need and we are all capable of helping them. Have you ever really thought about it? I know I haven't until now. We should be so grateful for that alone.

I've also learned help isn't always in the form of money. It's handing someone a Popsicle and watching their world light up as they respond "or-Kun!" it's playing with a girl whom you know can't understand anything you are saying but is so happy to make a new friend, that she follows you around for the rest of the afternoon. It's visiting a sick child in the hospital and playing blocks with her for 20 minutes and, even though we don't speak the same language , the only communication exchange we need is laughter. Its letting a young girl know she has someone to lean on, someone to hold their hand, if they are going through pain, because lending a helping hand has no language barrier. Its taking an extra minute out of your day to say hi to the mothers and thanking them for their welcoming arms, even though they know they have little to offer. And it's letting these mothers know what we have is not in the form of "things" but in fact the form of love, because I'm not sure I've ever seen so much love in one place before.

It's giving a child and mother a chance to be together forever. Yes, we CAN do that. Isn't that amazing? I for one am grateful for that opportunity.

To children that have so little, the littlest things to us are the world to them. And I feel so blessed to have been able to have seen this first hand.

A compilation of some of the sweet faces I've met through out this week. I am grateful to have met each and every one of them.

I am grateful to my family and friends for supporting men and sending their love while I've been away. It's been an amazing journey here but it's so great to know you are thinking of me on the other side of the world.

I am grateful to my other family, the Kiwanis family, for sending me to Cambodia. I know there were over 300,000 members you all could have chosen from and I am so grateful you saw something in me to give me this opportunity.

Most of all, I an grateful to Cambodia for opening your arms wide for me to experience your beauty, pain and suffering. That must be a difficult thing but you won't regret it. I will work my hardest to roll up my sleeves and motivate everyone to get involved in helping you any way I can. I hope one day we eliminate your pain and suffering and only your exquisite beauty remains.

I know I have become one with Cambodia because as I am reflecting on my week, gathering my things to leave to the airport, I am moved to tears. And just as I am, for the first time since we've been here, it starts to rain heavily. I'm going to miss you too, Cambodia :)

Thank you for everything, Cambodia. I hope to see you again very soon.
-Avanti

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