Charlotte: The doctor said that my leg might get cut off if there’s an infection.
Me: Yes, but that probably won’t happen to you.
Charlotte: But it can happen sometimes, right?
Me: Yes. It happens sometimes. You know someone who had a finger cut off because of a bad injury. It’s Bo Chien at the office.
Charlotte: So he only has (counting on her fingers) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 fingers, right?
Me: That’s right.
Charlotte: I saw someone by the road who didn’t have a leg. Did his leg have an infection.
Me: Maybe. It’s also possible that he was hurt by a landmine.
Charlotte: What’s a landmine?
Me: It’s a bomb that sits on the ground and blows up if you step on it. It can kill people or hurt them.
Charlotte: Why would someone put a bomb on the ground?
Me: During war, people try to kill other people.
Charlotte: This is making me feel embarrassed. I’m just not going outside anymore.
Me: I think you mean that you feel scared. There are no bombs in our city of Phnom Penh. There are still some leftover from the war out in the countryside in some areas.
Charlotte: But after the war, why didn’t they pick up the bombs?
Me: Some people are trying to.
This conversation turned into a talk about conflict in Turkey (her teacher is from Turkey) and conflict in Mexico (because she’s heard people talk about it) and then the Revolutionary War (because she said “there are no wars in Pennsylvania, right?”).