We’re here! Hello from Sen Moronom Cambodia. It’s our third day in Cambodia, but we should probably start from the beginning. When all was said and done, 36 hours of our lives were devoted to getting us here.
We got here bright and early on July 4th (still July 3rd in Oregon), and had a relatively full day, all things considered (especially with most of us jet lagged and delirious from lack of sleep). We arrived at the Billabong Hotel by “tuk tuk” and after finding our rooms, we all jumped in the pool. We settled in a bit then went out to lunch at “Friends”, a restaurant that provides job training for former street youth.
Next many of us chose the option of going to the market. Everything you could think of was stacked in an endless maze of stuff, from glittery baubles to sinister teletubby figurines. We, Megan and Marjorie, got completely lost. Every side of the market looks the same, and before we could even see the clouds, it was pouring rain. You can tell you’re in a different country when people start calling, “Lady! Tuk tuk!” and yell “OHHH” when you step calf-deep into the water that was run-off from the fish section of the market. This is now known as “fish water”. We spotted John (not his given name), our Cambodian connection in the land of flooded tuk tuks. We jumped in and rode back to the Billabong, very wet and smelly:)
Yesterday, the 5th, we started the day off at the National Museum, where we saw ancient statues and artifacts dating back thousands of years. After having lunch, we headed back to the Billabong for a bit of a rest and the necessary time in the pool.
After our siesta, we visited Wat Phnom, an outrageously beautiful temple at the top of a hill, the highest point in the city. At the very top there was a small building. Out of respect, we all took our shoes off and left them outside the entrance. When we walked in, we were greeted by a huge statue of Buddha as well as other statues, around which people left offerings, including money and flowers. The Temple is a nice place to sit and reflect or just wander around and look at all of the intricate carvings and paintings. When we finished we took a brief drive around the town (on tuk tuk, of course). After yet another trip to the pool, we headed out to dinner at Romdeng, a restaurant affiliated with Friends. Among other dishes, most of us sampled the renowned fried tarantula. I (Marjorie), sampled a leg, and decided to just leave it that.
It’s monsoon season, as we’ve noticed, and I (Megan) have arrived home every night very wet. We spent six hours today in a minivan from Phnom Penh to Sen Monorom. Around the third hour, I went from zoning out staring at a spot on the window, to looking at the markets on the side of the road, and listening to the whining of the Indian music blaring on the radio that filled the van. The driver stopped us many times to run errands, dropping off boxes and picking up crickets that we all tried to eat (it got stuck in my throat). Driving is a whole new experience in Cambodia, one you just have to experience. We all made it to our destination safe and sound.
When we arrived we met Jack, the person in charge of us at the Elephant Valley Project. He directed us to a Cambodian KFC for some food and later on, a café. I drank from a coconut, walked around the market, waved hello to some cute Cambodian kids, and got stuck in the rain, again. All in all, a good day. It’s late now and we have an early start tomorrow.
Signing off, Megan & Marjorie
A peek of whats to come…
10/29 Family Workshop (virtual)
11/11 Parent Cohort Virtual