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Ta Van


Hello, my name is Ta Van, and I am 10 years old. I live with my grandmother. When my mother was giving birth to me, she was convinced that I wanted to cause her pain; my aunt told me that she tried to kill me by stepping on me. Soon after I was born, she ran away and I have never seen her. I cannot squat like other children because of my injury. My father has run away, too. 

My grandmother was born with a clubfoot and during the Khmer Rouge, a soldier poured hot water on her leg and foot. Because of her injuries, she cannot work much. But she picks snails and crab in the rice fields and sells them at the market. She earns a little more money for us when she is able to pick cassava (a type of potato), but it is usually too difficult for her now. We use the 50-70 cents that she earns each day to buy rice to eat. 

My best "friend" is my cousin, Rak, who lives next to my house. Rak is 12 and he lives alone because his parents moved to another province. Now, during rice harvest time, he works from 3PM until 10PM, so I cannot see him often. Rak and I both want to be English teachers. 

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