Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Happy Khmer New Year

Khmer New Year was from the 13th to 15th of April. I decided to go to Koh Thom for a couple days with my work supervisor Borith, his wife Sitha and Lauren, a volunteer from the States. We all piled into Borith’s tiny car, along with Sitha’s aunt and nephew and drove down to Kandal province stopping along the way for breakfast (noodles and animal intestines of some sort) and at the local market. It took us a couple hours to get to the ferry where we crossed the river and walked to Sitha’s grandparents house. Their house was right on the river and it was absolutely beautiful and so peaceful. Her family were so great and we were defiantly spoilt with great home cooking and hilarious conversations. We took motos out to Wat Tuol Reachea, a new Wat just opened by Hun Sen in the hopes of bringing tides of new tourists to the area. It’s a real shame because this area is just amazing and I can’t help but think what this new construction and huge mansions going up next door will do. Nevertheless the temple was just amazing, with two huge Buddha’s which were just beautiful. Construction is still going on so I can’t imagine what it will look like when it’s finished. The moto ride was hilarious and I was either crying from laughing so hard or from the pure fear of blasting down these dusty rural roads, down dried up river banks and dodging the numerous cows, all without a helmet. The next day we went to see the local primary school where Sitha’s relative works and checked out the library. This was pretty amazing. Pretty much the only books they had there were ones donated by NGOs on different educational campaigns they were running at the time. I think they were trying to appeal for more funding to get some much needed resources in there. From there we went to the local Wat for a New Year blessing and spent the rest of the time relaxing and hanging out with the family. Heading out to a small village in Mondulkiri province tomorrow for 5 days to do some work out there, much the same as in Kampong Chhnang. Arriving back in Phnom Penh just in time to meet up with mum, can’t wait!!

Koh Thom local market

Crossing the Tonle Sap

Home cooking at Sitha's grandparent's house

Wat Tuol Reachea

Local kids by the river

Village primary school library

Sitha's grandparent's house

No comments: