Such a Small World but a Big Issue

On last weekend, I was invited to a Japanese party in Phnom Penh. The Japanese development worker who works with one of the Ministry of Cambodia almost monthly holds such dinner parties, which always impresses me.

Although having tried to participate in a series of her parties, I could not have been managing to do so for quite some time before. So actually, it was my second time to join it since my arrival at Phnom Penh.

In her party then, there were over 20 people and, all of them were Japanese development workers with different expertise. So it was far enough for me to enjoy and feel how the world was small.

However, the biggest surprises are always coming late. When starting to talk to a woman next to me, I found that I have heard some of her stories before! Why is it? I was quite not sure why I got such ideas coming to my mind, but sure that I knew her profile! Then, I started asking questions.

“Do you often go to Bangkok to buy books?”

– Sometimes.

“Did you take a coach from Battambang to Bangkok at the middle of November 2007?”

– Yes.

“Did you sit next to a young Japanese boy in a coach?”

– Yes.

“It’s me!!”

Such a small world! The world was much smaller than I thought. At that time I was on travel in Thailand, Laos and Cambodia, and took a coach to Bangkok, after visiting a local NGO for my business in Battambang. We do deal with such a big issue of development or poverty reduction, but our world is so tiny.

There are a few Japanese people who are involved with development work as a professional, so that we can often encounter such surprising events. But once going out of Japanese communities, I am always amazed to see such a lot of development workers. I hope more Japanese people will get into the development world, although it may reduce our surprising meeting etc. Change “Such a Small World but a Big Issue” to “Such a Big World but a Small Issue”. That is another slogan and passion for my professional work and career.

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