I cried on Wednesday

I cried on Wednesday and I haven't the foggiest idea why. So I thought it'd be a good idea to write about it and try to work out why. As most of you know I have my normal work in the morning and generally every Mon-Wed-Fri afternoon I go to work at the volunteer school for a couple of hours teaching English to high schoolers. So far I have enjoyed every minute of this and don't tell my boss but I much prefer working there than at my school with a salary. Every minute is filled with laughter and joy and stress-free. If I could bottle up that positive energy these guys give off I'd be a millionaire. The class I teach already know a fair amount of English so although there's no seen progress I always feel as though they learn something every lesson. They might not, I don't know.
Anyhow that's the basic run down of my volunteer school. I mean I could write about the students for hours with all their niches. So back to the crying.
An old volunteer came back after not being there for two years. So to her all the students have grown up. The students haven't been coming in on time much due, to studying in extra classes, so I got talking to this volunteer and she seemed nice and she said she had presents to give. So we were waiting for them together in the classroom. Then two of the students with the brightest outlook on life, that are right peas in a pod as well, arrived. They remembered the new/old volunteer and with that there was a heartwarming moment of the three. She then gave them these gifts. Just two lunchboxes for 15 and 16 year olds. Probably not much use for them. But you know what? I teared up. I couldn't look at them but they worked out what was happening. I left the room and went to the toilet and ugly cried for about 15 minutes. Incredulous at myself for being so emotionally weak. I calmed down went back to the room and everytime I thought about it I got all teary eyed again. Then more students came a bit later and she gave them books as well. I was more prepared for this and only got a little bit weepy. The effect of this was me feeling all diminishing for the rest of the day and shaky.
This is still playing on my mind and has been for the last couple of days. Any idle moments I sit and wonder why? Now this is an unusual occurrence for me. Last time I cried for something that was happening in real life (i'm discounting movies) was about 7 years ago when my Grandad died. I understand why it was strange as it has been a length of time since I have cried. However I can't fathom as to what struck the chord, what lit the match, what made me blub like a little girl. I have spoken to people close to me to try and work out as to why and I think it's an amalgamation of many factors of the following:
Emotional weakness due to being sick. Last week I was very sick and in hospital. Getting an injection in the bottom for a stomach infection.
Although I was feeling better, it may take longer to become more resistant to the poverty again. The amount of it I see on the daily is mind blowing and becoming resistant to it is part of life here. Much like our ignorance to the homeless in England. That Wednesday morning I ignored a beggar that I wish I hadn't.  I was with the private school children and had just been given a free water by one of the workers of the place we were at. I ignored him. Why? I don't know. I rarely ignore them and more often than not give money. Their lives are mind blowingly difficult and being unacknowledged as human by me ignoring him just adds to it. I really wish I could go back and just look at him and shake my head. Even better would have been me giving him the water on a hot day like it was. I'm a role model to these kids they're very privileged. They need to see these moments of human kindness between people. So that when they're in control of the money they can do some good beause they saw their teacher do it when they were younger. Now all they saw is me dehumanising a beggar. I wish I could slap that version of me in the bus and give him some sense. So then the afternoon happened and it added together to create what happened.
It could be my love of Cambodia. Cliché, I know. I have taken a lesser salary just so I can go and work at another place for free. I could easily go make more money taking on tutoring and working at places to earn. However I don't want to. I want to help and then seeing someone else who has had the forethought and cared enough to spend money on children that aren't hers. It was a physical representation of what I was doing with my time. She spent money, I spent time. And amongst all this poverty that I see; there was this woman who was was a reflection of me essentially. Just doing something for the love of it rather than the reward. It was such a smack-in-the-face realisation. About how much I care for these people, this country, these students that in the moment of clarity I was a punctured balloon. The tears came I patched it back up and hopefully I can improve as a person because of it.
I think also the fact she was remembered added to it. The definition of success to me is:  "To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded. " So for me her being remembered because she had made 'a life breathe easier' was huge she had achieved my success. It's what I'm selfishly chasing. I want to effect people enough that they remember me and tell others about the time their teacher got through to them with English or something of the like.
As I've been writing this it's finally relaxed me which is what I wanted. What made me cry was the fact that she was remembered, something I want, then also the realisation of how much I actually care about everyone of these children. Due to me not being an outwardly emotional person. It hit me in the face. I do care and not just that, I care a lot and I do want to be remembered by them and care about what they have. I want them to have enough on their plate every night. I want them to be happy, safe and healthy. This person giving them something made me realise this but at the same time that they are poor and sometimes don't have enough and giving them something as simple as a lunch box, just set off this chain reaction of realisations that were unyet known to me and set me crying. I'm so glad I've written this and I can rest easy now for my Chinese New Year break. Phew.