👨‍✈️ Looks Like I Just Became Steung Kach's Unpaid School Bus Driver 🛺🚸

in ASEAN HIVE COMMUNITY • 4 months ago


After one day of taking Mey-Yii to school, the people in the village decided to make make 4 more kids' education my responsibility.

I Hope Karma Is Real ♻️



     Even though we are barely in a position to take care of ourselves, I hate seeing folks in the village prioritize drinking and gambling over their childrens' future. One of our daughters' playmates is Nim, perhaps some of you have seen her in some of my previous posts. Even though Nim and her siblings attend school in a slightly closer district, I noticed they only make the commute 50% of the time.



     After reaching out to Nim's parents, we couldn't find any logical reason for their kids missing so many school days, so I told them I can transport their children too. The added weight has upped my fuel costs to $5 a day, so that's $30 a week and and $120 a month, not to mention the tire wear and oil changes required to keep the Ape running. Total monthly costs are likely $150 with these things factored in, and add Mey-Yii's expenses to the equation, it's probably around $180 per month.


     My blog earns me less than $300 a month at the moment, so very little is left to survive on. Hive frustrates me a bit at times, it seems the most fortunate Hivers are also the ones getting the big post payouts, which I guess mirrors real life in many ways. Mey-Yii showed up at 4:50am this morning, and as I write this post, it's already 2:49am, so I can only imagine I'll sleep when I'm dead, but I can't afford to not post these days, the kids literally depend on it.


     I do feel a great sense of joy when I see them excited for school, but I also realize this way of life of can't continue, because to be healthy I need at least 5 hours of sleep each night. Today Mey-Yii shouted "thanks Dad" in English as she climbed out of the tuk-tuk, sending me into laughter because she doesn't speak any English.


     Nim and her siblings attend a school only 20 minutes away, a little less quality than the public school in the town, but since the school year is nearly over, everyone must finish where they started the school year. Perhaps if I'm still alive in a few months, I can get Nim and her siblings enrolled in the same school as my daughters. I am living day-to-day at the moment, having a bit of chest pains this week from stress and a lack of sleep, but nobody else cares enough to solve this problem other than me.

     Keep me in your thoughts and prayers Hivers, I really don't know how life will play out over the next several weeks. Well, it's 3am now, time to post this and see how many minutes of rest I can get before Mey-Yii is knocking on my door in a couple of hours........


Monkey B

Wow, this is incredible!

On one hand I was about to comment on how good you look, being in charge of the tuk-tuk, transporting the local kids to and from school. And the kids seem to enjoy it, looking also fantastically happy in your pics.

At the same time it pains me to read your words, that you are facing this major burden by yourself, while all the others (neighbors, members of the community, the kids' parents) not lifting a finger - that is offering up a dime - to help out a bit. I guess if you weren't doing it, their kids wouldn't get to school. What a horrible attitude?

I really wonder what those parents are thinking: that you are crazy to do this? Or insanely rich? Maybe both? Though they sure don't seem to have a problem accepting your generosity! But it would be so easy to split up the cost of gas, oil, maintenance, as well as driving time among all families involved.

So sad! I agree, hoping that karma is real, and more than that, you won't have to wait till your next life to see its effects.

 4 months ago  

We certainly don't expect anything from Mey-Yii's grandma because we already know her education is not even worth a cent to that woman, so we've more or less taken her in as our own, although we send her back home in the evenings to sleep at her grandma's place. Our only hope is the family that has 4 kids which we take to and from school. They are a good enough family for Cambodia, not dealing with alcoholism or a gambling addiction, but the husband chooses to supplement his already decent salary with illegal logging. The Wildlife Alliance recently confiscated his chainsaw and burned all of his illegal timber, so they are in a tough financial situation, and he doesn't seem willing or brave enough to think of alternative streams of income.

I would like to do homestays in the village as a source of income that may prevent illegal logging, but right now I know most foreigners would be uncomfortable in the local households because of all the mental health problems, alcoholism, gambling, etc.

The family who sends 4 kids actually have 8 kids in their home but only 4 are their biological children, so they are doing a good thing in taking in several "throwaway kids." They tried to give us $25 when I first started taking their kids to school, but we said wait until they receive their salary, then only give us what they can afford to give.

Well, the offer was there and that's a good sign. And even if the financial situation may not permit it, they seem to be open to look for other solutions. So that sounds good. As for Mey-Yii's grandma, from what you told me, I didn't even expect too much.

 4 months ago  

Oh my God... I don't know what to say let alone seeing all the burdens you have to carry right now, after Mey-Yii even now there are 4 more children that you have to take to school.

To be honest, Mey-Yii and the other four children are not your responsibility, but because of your kindness and generosity you took over the responsibility for Mey-Yii's education so your other neighbors in the village took advantage of this opportunity. Do not expect them to care about all the difficulties you face, because people with such a character are very difficult to be sensitive to the troubles that people face. So, we should hope that karma is real..

Be patient my good friend, you and your family are kind people. I'm sure God will repay all of your kindness with another income that is bigger than this Hive 🙏❤

 4 months ago  

I think you are correct unfortunately, but hopefully with time the villagers will see that the very different life I live is one that brings positive change to people's lives. I find Cambodians are usually late to react, and a good example of this is with littering. They will throw their garbage all over the place in front of their house, but when I am their neighbor, and they see me keeping my place trash-free, they often feel guilty and begin taking better care of their property.

Patience is key just like you said, and I know change will be slow, but not impossible.

 4 months ago  

I will sure keep you in my prayers 🙏 for a healthy mind and body.

Most of the kids or when I was also in elementary and highschool, there were no ride at all. We walked every single day like 30-40 mins to reach our school in the morning and another 30-to 40 mins going back home after school. The road is not paved, we crossed river, other walked the hill and mountain. Still most of us finished our basic education.

With what you do, giving a free ride, for me if I am that kid, I will be so happy and excited but see also your limit. Thanks for that help hope you are appreciated in the community.

 4 months ago  

Haha, even me in the USA, we lived in the countryside, and the bus wouldn't come down our road, so 12 of us kids all walked 30 minutes to the bus stop every morning. After getting in the bus, it was at least an hour driving around before we reached the school.

If the parents are hopeless, maybe things will work out in the future. These kids in the village will understand some day the scale of what I am doing for them, and perhaps when I'm an old man they'll look after me and help me when I need something. But I will be a happy enough if only this improves the quality of their life and gives them a good trajectory.

"...Mey-Yii shouted "thanks Dad..."

OMG, my heart just melted when I read this! What a wonderful thing for her to say! 😊

It blows my mind that you spend 3–4 hours each day just hauling kidlets to school and back. I know you have your girls enrolled at Thmor Da because it's a decent school, but if Nim's school is only 20 minutes away... that would cut your commute-time and fuel costs, significantly, if the girls could go there at the beginning of the coming school year.

Bless your heart for all you do for the children...!!! ❤️

 4 months ago  

🙏 When Mey-Yii said that, we both laughed so hard, knowing that isn't the right thing to call me, but I also know she's never had a dad before, and part of me senses she is longing for some dad energy because she often shares things with me that she doesn't tell my wife or kids.

Nim's school has a bad reputation, and often the teacher doesn't show up if the weather's not good. Former students have also told us the teachers mostly just play with their phones during classtime, so I think it would be a waste of time to send them there. Nim wants to go to school in Thmor Da next year because of this, but hopefully if the border becomes an international crossing, the increase in tourism will boost the economy and make it more likely for a school to open near our place and/or Nim's school get some more funding and guidance.

People are definitely taking advantage of your kindness and whilst the children have done no wrong to deserve their parents' treatment, by helping them it is impacting your own daughters welfare and future, and they don't deserve that either.

It's great to help people but it gets to a stage where personally I think family must take priority over everything else. We can't save the world even though we'd love too. Sometimes less is more.

All the best

 4 months ago  

No doubt Mey-Yii's guardian grandma is taking advantage of us, but then again that is basically her reputation in the village, where she is even disowned by fellow gambling addicts. Mey-Yii is at our house from sun-up to sun-down, and we can't lock her out, but it's obvious her homelife is abusive and dysfunctional, so I figure it's best to make her time spent with us constructive so that it doesn't interfere with the education and upbringing of our own daughters.

I agree with your words, and I try as much to think globally, but act locally. I know I can't change the world overnight, but we have Mey-Yii in our lives for a reason, I am sure of that. In some ways it has opened the eyes of my daughters, and now they are starting to understand how hard I work to give them a better future.

Our kids are often lazy to wake up, wash the dishes, help with dinner prep, etc., but Mey-Yii cooks and washes her own clothes because nobody else is going to do it for her. It also breaks my heart that most of the villagers dislike her just because her only rolemodel has been her grandma. Now that she's more or less become a part of our family, we are having her help with household chores, and she doesn't seem to mind at all because of the positive environment we provide for her.

 4 months ago  

That's such a huge responsibility. You're such a kind person to help the other children.

But I really feel bad for you, it's so painful to read what you wrote. I hope that you'll be able to get other streams of income to support you in your daily needs.

Though, you also have to get some rest and please take care of yourself. I'll be praying for you!


 4 months ago  

It's a neverending circle at times, if I take time away from work to look for different streams of income, I risk losing more income by not working, especially if my search for students is not fruitful. I am confident things will work out as they should, but you're right, this is a tough time.

 4 months ago  

Oh okay, your situation is really difficult. I hope that you will be able to have a better situation soon but I know that all your sacrifices are going to be worth it in the future. Keep on grinding! Keep safe!

Salute to you sir,youre such a good model to everyone.God will shower you more blessings .
I remember when I was studying I need to walk for 30-40minutes going to school and its hard especially if it rained.

 4 months ago  

🙏 I hope so, I believe this, but most of all if the kids have a brighter future because of what I'm doing, that is enough for me.

 4 months ago (edited) 

Your kindess is eternal my friend. Don't worry about your cost to help them as long as you still can have share for your family. You plant your good seeds that you will harvest in abundance when you know not.

 4 months ago  

I agree, and even though it's frustrating at times, I know you are 100% correct.

 4 months ago  

If there's any "French" hero in Cambodia worth writing down on history book, @justinparke will be that "French" guy. I will contribute 50HBD a month to feed your APE, so we can keep the balls rolling.

 4 months ago  

Maybe a mountain will be named after me one day, after all, there is one nearby literally translated as "Mount Frenchman's Nose." Realistically though, I'd be lucky to have a drainage ditch named after me, perhaps "Freckle Face Ditch 🤔." As I ponder this, I realize freckles are translated as "fly poop" in Khmer, so I guess it would "Fly S*it Face Ditch 😁."

Your offer is far too generous, and to be honest, your delegation to @asean.hive provides my family with a significant amount of funds even though we've probably withdrawn less than $200 or $300 from @asean.hive profits. I would really hope that one day we get in a better economic situation, and then I'd love to use the funds for an ASEAN Hive Summit.

Here's the scoop so far on diesel costs, 6 days a week at $3 per roundtrip, and I no longer do this twice a day because of the mobile office I take with me in the tuk-tuk, parking on abandoned land near the school and working for 4 hours before grabbing the kids and heading back home. This is more productive for me and also halves the fuel costs, so it looks like $72-ish dollars per month not factoring in tire wear, oil changes, etc.

Our neighbors have committed to $12.50 per month, two different families, so that's $25 per month, and we cover the rest at about $47 per month, much more manageable than before. Your offer is far too generous, and besides, each month gets a little better. If HIVE stays above 60 cents, that will be very helpful in the next few months too.

 4 months ago  

Put it this way, if I give you that 50 bucks, I get to see the kids progress. If I put 50 bucks into that well-known UNICHEF, they're only giving back me a tax cut which often time I forgot to submit 🤣 and I do know they took away a big chunk of that donation to pay for their "administration", such as the Mercedes Benz the manager is riding. 50 bucks can't feed a Merc that carry 0.005 kid, but 50 bucks does feed the ape that carry all the kids I've seen in your post 😁

 4 months ago (edited) 

I'm always going to politely refuse, haha, but also if given the funds, that money would obviously not go to waste. Right now we are good for at least several weeks, my wife's ex-husband's family members just arrived from California, and tomorrow morning my wife and kids will be joining them for a one-week VIP tour of Cambodia, so no fuel costs for the next week because of that, and I've just withdrawn a couple hundred HIVE to Binance.

The other kids's parents said they will take them by moto for a week, no problem, but Mey-Yii goes to the furthest school, so she's going to miss out. I am regretful for this, but because I am foreign man and Mey-Yii is Cambodian girl with a questionable guardian, I don't ever want to be alone with her even if it's taking her to school on the Cub for a week. An accusation could be made, and in Cambodia the foreigner is always guilty, wrong, at fault.

I know you have some bills that absolutely must be paid each month, and I also know your working situation is tense and unsatisfying these days. You may find yourself needing all the savings you got if you choose to look for a new employer sometime soon.

That's kind of you, Sir. I salute people like you who have the heart to help other people. I'm praying for your good health.

 4 months ago  

Thank you so much, the emotional support of my fellow Hivers has actually been a huge morale boost for me.

 4 months ago  

May God bless you for your good deeds. I think that you should ask them to share part of the petrol costs

 4 months ago  

🙏 Nim's parents are likely to help with diesel costs a bit, but I don't want them committing more than they have to give. For now I am taking my mini pc and camping battery to school, and right now I am parked on some abandoned land and Hivin' from my hotspot. Going to school and not returning home will save me about $2.60 per day, and at 6 days a week, will save us $60+ USD per month. It's definitely not a comfortable working space, but 4 hours a day is doable in this confined tuk-tuk office space.

 4 months ago  

That is very kind and generous of you. Staying back somewhere near the school is a good way of saving money.

Hive frustrates me a bit at times, it seems the most fortunate Hivers are also the ones getting the big post payouts, which I guess mirrors real life in many ways.


Great work you're doing there. Keep going. Upvoted.

 4 months ago  

Most of the big upvotes on Hive come from accounts that don't post or comment, so it might even be automated voting for all we know, but this really paints a bad picture of Hive for newbies.

Your content has been voted as a part of Encouragement program. Keep up the good work!

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