Shuffling Occupations

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From: Tracy
Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Smoothly ironed blue skirt, crisp white shirt, blue bag and big smile, she walks proudly through the gates of her new school. Today is the first day. Before being able to open her books and write the date with her red sharpened pencil, and crisp cut ruler, the teacher presents her with a form that has to be filled in to complete the reintegration process. Proudly she fills in her name, her age, her address – only using her eraser from time to time – her mother’s name and that of her father’s. When it comes to her father’s occupation, she clearly writes “Card Player”. Slightly confused, the social worker that has accompanied her, quietly ask her why she wrote this.

“Well, when I leave in the morning, my dad is playing cards. And when I come home he is playing cards. I never see him ‘going to work’, so I think that is REALLY his job.”

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