Due to a shift in Family living dynamics (I could explain but I can’t be arsed!), we have a new member of the family. Leakhana’s little 16 year old brother Veasna has moved in with us and I / we couldn’t be happier. Veasna had been living with Tra and Phalla and several cousins in a small one bedroom apartment and now that Tra and Phalla have moved in with Tra’s parents (there- I explained it! ), everyone has had to find alternative digs. With 8 people already living in the 2 bedroom family apartment near Central Market, Tra approached me about Veasna living with us. This was an absolute no brainer as I had already broached this topic with my wife months ago. I love Veasna like my own little brother and he is BRILLIANT with Grace. To see him with her is really something to behold. He adores her and will stay with her for hours.
The other thing is, the family seniors strongly suspect he MIGHT be gay. Well…it’s hard to say but he has very effeminate behaviour sometimes (but not quincy or noncy….just very gentle and girly) and he definitely did not want to go back to the main family apartment. Tra basically said to me “we think under your strong male guidance he will not be gay” and I retaliated with “er….mate….if he wants to knit…..I will buy him the wool and the knitting needles !! “. I made it clear to Tran and Phalla that Veasna will be whoever he wants to be under my roof and I will support him no matter what course he takes. That was a bit of a rude awakening to them but I think they appreciated my loyalty to Veasna and can see he will be well looked after.
We have given him his very first ever OWN room with a built in and drawers for his clothes and a desk for him to create all his artwork and bits and pieces at. I had him some custom made school shirts made at my tailor as a reward for being top of his class and I think he is happier than a pig in shit. He is very respectful of Leakhana and my space and after eating with us he discreetly disappears to his room to sleep or do homework or whatever. He only had one request when he moved in and that was could he bring his STUNNING bright red frangipani tree and some other plants with him and the garden now looks amazing ! I am going to give him regular pocket money every month and I will watch with interest how things develop over time. My initial feeling is that ( like a lot of things here in Cambodia ) things I stressed about when I thought about the concept, I should never have worried about.