I told my grandmother, who lived in Michigan, that I was moving to Florida. That was three years ago. Every winter when I saw on the weather map that Michigan was getting hit hard and heavy with cold and snow I would call her and brag about it being seventy degrees outside. She would laugh and say “just you wait.”
My grandmother called today and asked how the weather was where I was in Florida.
“The Cambodian village of Kdep Tmar, deep in the northwest forests near the Thai border, lies within a minefield. Planted by numerous belligerent factions during Cambodia’s three decades of war, the mines are in the fields behind the houses, along the rutted track that is the only access to the village and in the forest where the villagers gather wood.
“Life is bad here,” says Pou Venh, father of three, a sad-faced man whose body is emaciated by malaria. “There is no land for growing rice, no food, mines everywhere. The school has no furniture.” He and his wife try to keep their children from wandering too far, but they don’t even know if the patch of ground around their small wooden shack is safe. Two months ago a pregnant woman was killed by a mine as she walked to the outdoor latrine 20 yds. behind her hut.”