As quickly as it began, construction seemed to grind to a halt, and the flagpole laid across the top of the pedestal, waiting to be erected. Finally, a few days ago, the ponds were filled with water, and the day before yesterday, the flagpole was at long last cemented into the central pedestal.
Yesterday morning, we arrived just in time to see the spirit house already set in place next to the flagpole. Chhunly and Sun were tying the Cambodian flag to the lines on the pole. This was a moment I didn't want to miss, and I ran across the yard with my camera. The top of the flag was already tied on, and they were just attaching the bottom when I caught these photos.
|Chunnly and Sun tying the flag to the flagpole|
|Chhunly hoisted the flag up the pole.|
|The flag caught in the lines for a moment, |
but then a gust of wind caught it, and it unfurled beautifully.
We all stood back and admired it. I told Chhunly I felt like we should be singing the national anthem or something. I don't know if he thought I was crazy, but he just smiled. (It's a beautiful song - you can hear it by clicking on this link.)
Later in the day, I caught a glimpse of him standing outside his office, looking into the distance in the direction of the flag and the centrepiece with the lotus ponds. I knew he was very proud, and I'd like to think that just maybe he was humming the national anthem in his head.