I love this photo. I love the color, the focus, the position, but mostly I love the innocence portrayed in it.
This is the hand of my tour guide, a little girl who couldn’t have been more than 10 years old.
The bamboo train in Battambang had stopped at a ‘tourist trap’ where there was nothing to do but buy a tee shirt or a drink, and a slew of little children had run up to our group asking if we wanted to see the rice factory.
Taking me through fenced gates and over rooster filled yards, this little girl finally stopped outside a giant barn door through which dozens of bags of rice were visible, and started explaining the varieties of rice to me.
“This rice is brown and is for people to eat. This rice not good. People no eat. This rice for the pigs. This rice is for…”
She was adorable and seemed decently knowledgeable, taking me through the rice production process, explaining which machines did what, which rice came out of where and what was done with it, rambling off the information like a seasoned pro.
I guess she was doing her part to support the community, and when she stuck her hand out, this time empty, quoting one dollar each, we did ours: we paid up.