Daily Wanderlust: The children of Ratanakiri

Beyond, way beyond, the traffic of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and on the border of Vietnam and Laos, is the Ratanakiri Province. Here, paved roads give way to dusty, rust-colored dirt paths, and wooden homes perched on knobby stilts are the norm. One of the least developed places in the country, the people here are a minority, the Khmer Loeu, with a history of slavery.

This area is home to numerous small villages, well off the beaten path, packed with some of the most beautiful children I have ever seen. Unlike the children I met in Nkombo, Rwanda, these children come close to us. They smile with us. They don’t speak a word of English, but it doesn’t matter. We communicate with giggles, photos and play.

There’s much more to come on my visit to this region, but here is a little start …

The children in Cambodia's Ratanakiri Province