So Pheap, a 10 years old girl from Prek Sveay village located in Koh Rong island on the southern tip of Cambodia, has never drawn in her life before. The red coloured pencil she held in her hand was the first she has ever known nor held. “I dont know how to draw”, she said softly in Khmer language. She was afraid, I could feel her hands shaking when I touched her hand to draw. Line by line, she followed my hand’s movement. We drew a flower together, and I let her fill it in with colors. She chose the colour pink like Lotus flower, a flower that represents strength and beauty in Cambodia.
After she finished her first drawing, So Pheap drew another flower. This time it was not Lotus, it was a flower only she knew. She coloured it in pink, blue, orange, red, purple and even in black. Her hands were no longer shaking, her eyes and smile were brighter. As she handed me her drawings, she asked me in english words she just learned on that day, “May I have another paper please?”