A Travellerspoint blog

This blog is published chronologically. Go straight to the most recent post.

MY CAMBODIAN ADVENTURE - To market - to market.....

sunny

TUESDAY, January 29th

Today there is much to do. I looked for Savon, the ACODO coordinator and handy man. I found him under the van, trying to keep it roadworthy - a weekly chore.
Savon enjoys working at ACODO - He is truly a treasure.

Savon enjoys working at ACODO - He is truly a treasure.

I asked Savon about buying meat and fruit for the supper meal. He said that he would go and see “Mommy” who does the cooking. It was arranged that I would go to the market with her at 12:00 to choose it. I was back at noon, and the younger children were asked what meat they would like. All agreed that they would love chicken. Bunleing got the tuc-tuc and Mommy and I piled in the back. I had brought only $30.00, which is not enough to buy chicken for 80 mouths. We popped into my hotel along the way, and Khemera checked with “Aunty.” A quick $40.00 more came out of the cash drawer (not written down!) It is easy to call this hotel ‘home.’ We did a 40-minute run to a good price market.
Bunleing drove the tuc-tuc, while Mommy and I rode in the back, speaking in sign language.Mommy and I "talked" about lotus leaves to wrap chicken, pigs on motorbikes and other things, all new to me.

Mommy and I "talked" about lotus leaves to wrap chicken, pigs on motorbikes and other things, all new to me.

The out of town market

The out of town market


We found chickens, roasting over charcoal and Mommy chose $50.00 worth. These were individually wrapped in large lotus leaves and put in a shopping bag. Ten chickens wrapped in lotus leaves please.

Ten chickens wrapped in lotus leaves please.

Chickens in the bag and Bunleing driving the tuc-tuc.

Chickens in the bag and Bunleing driving the tuc-tuc.

This little piggy went to market.

This little piggy went to market.

Now it was time to search for the fruit for everyone. Another market closer to town netted 2 large bags of longans (similar to lychees).

.Shopping is done. Two bags of longans

.Shopping is done. Two bags of longans

Mommy and the other ladies were pleased with the purchase. That evening everyone enjoyed roasted chicken and rice, and every child sat afterwards with a baggie full of the small plum-sized fruit, slowly eating and enjoying them. It was wonderful to have supper with all of them and to stay on for the performance. Supper at the picnic tables

Supper at the picnic tables

Longans - sweet and juicy

Longans - sweet and juicy

Some guests arrived to visit the orphanage and stay for the dancing, among them, the couple I had met from England plus a friend, Sarah. I had also told Jurgen, a guest at my hotel, and he was looking forward to the evening. I found one of the wonderfully capable older boys that my friends would love to be told about the orphanage, and he cheerfully obliged. This was the last night for me to enjoy the show. I sat with the children and soon had various little ones sitting on my lap. The dancing was the same super caliber as ever, with a new dance that I hadn’t seen before. My friends were really wowed with the children’s enthusiasm and talent, and were so happy that they had had a chance to enjoy this gem. I made my way to my waiting carriage- my bicycle, and was escorted by several of the children to the entrance.How could I have a favourite - they all are!

How could I have a favourite - they all are!


Another magical evening.

Posted by Sue McNicholas 11:11 Archived in Cambodia Comments (0)

MY CAMBODIAN ADVENTURE - My last sunset in Cambodia

sunny

WEDNESDAY, January 30th

Actually this is the all night session, my usual the day before I travel by plane. There was much to do. I tried to pay my hotel bill, but found that Visa in all their wisdom had declined my card perhaps because the card was being used outside of Canada. (Like, I don’t travel to weird places several times each year!) Into town to try out the instant tellers and 2 other cards: No luck! I finally managed to contact my very dear husband on Skype. “Here’s my card number, expiry and the pin! Go ahead and use it! …..and put on some extra cash for traveling – your card may still not work tomorrow!” No wonder my sister was overheard, sobbing that she had married the wrong man.

My inefficiency with this blog and a not-so-good internet connection chews up a lot of time. I wanted to catch up, and finish posting pictures and captions. Oh, and there were the ‘farm day’ pictures I had to find for printing; packing everything back into one piece of hand-luggage, and so on. The night flew by, and I even caught a nap for an hour. Morning came, and a busy day began.

My kindergarten class is ‘sticker-mad.’ Valerie, a new volunteer, helped me get the class started. I had brought my orange ACODO T-shirt, “blocked off” in masking tape. In turn, each child chose a block and with a marker wrote their phonetic name in “English” letters, and underneath, their name in Khmer script. Of course, some added butterflies, hearts and angry birds! All done. Then we did a little bit of schoolwork: “Please, teacha’, two stickers! When they remembered that this was my last day, I received many, many great hugs. “Will you come back next year, teacha’?” That is certainly my plan. It's not just the youngest kids that enjoy praise for excellent work.

It's not just the youngest kids that enjoy praise for excellent work.

Rid and ride... short i , long i sound, silent e.  Hell, English gets complicated!

Rid and ride... short i , long i sound, silent e. Hell, English gets complicated!

My next 2 classes were pretty much the same: wonderful. We did some lessons, and I asked each student to sign my T-shirt: The phonetic equivalent of their real name in Latin script (as we use in English), and their name in Khmer script. Some of the kids embellished with Angry Birds, with hearts and with butterflies!.Hourey and Sreynang writing their names in the blocks of my T-shirt.

Hourey and Sreynang writing their names in the blocks of my T-shirt.


Then I had that short 4 hours to do the critical jobs. Back to the hotel The white square on the beautiful backdrop of the performance stage listed, in Khmer script, each day of the week, the dances to be done, the musical instruments to be used, and other lines of information: 5 columns and 15 lines. It is an ugly white square that looks out of place when visitors photograph the dance performances. I had sworn to myself that I would rewrite it on heavy grey paper I had bought. Armed with a ruler, a black pen and a clear photograph of the “letters’ I set to work.

These are the instructions to the musicians as to the schedule of which instruments and songs are to be played each performance.I rewrote each symbol meticulously.

These are the instructions to the musicians as to the schedule of which instruments and songs are to be played each performance.I rewrote each symbol meticulously.

2 hours later: fait accompli! I finished packing. Everything fit in, almost. My nearly new Canadian sneakers would be good on some Cambodian feet. Next job: I had promised a number of the girls that I would print pictures of our day on the farm when they had planted 100 mango saplings. I was told of a Fuji Film shop, so I headed out. It was a professional place, and a young man obliged, checking my SD card to confirm how many of each. Basically however many people were in each picture. 40 minutes later, I raced back to the hotel. Khamera had discovered my penmanship, and it was making the rounds amid oooohs and aaaaahs , compliments and surprise. They didn’t know I could write Khmer. I said my very fond goodbyes to many of the staff. (Khemera: “Susan, you make me cry.”)

I’m late for my small class. Poerng, Hong Hav and Chunny helped me with removing the white square and tacking up the oblique shaped grey paper- the shape of the stone steps of the mural. It blends well into the backdrop, and the instructions are clear. Next, the photos. I have some beautiful shots of Chunny and she was very happy with them. The buzzer sounded and I stepped into my last class. Lending library books were changed, and the students were happy to read, I managed to sit with Rasy. He confessed that the reason he often skipped his class was to sleep. I teased him for laziness. Then I sat with him to go over the sounds of the ABCs and sounding out English words. I told him that next year I will come to his dormitory and bring him to every class. There was time for giving out the tree planting pictures, and for fond hugs and goodbyes.

Rau (Chhoeurt) and Kyo (Khuorch) Wonderful kids with a great sense of humour.

Rau (Chhoeurt) and Kyo (Khuorch) Wonderful kids with a great sense of humour.

Rau (Chhoeurt) - My favourite, along with 71 other favourites!

Rau (Chhoeurt) - My favourite, along with 71 other favourites!


I promise I'll be back next year.

I promise I'll be back next year.


Then it was time to leave. Seeing me off right to the gate. Sovy is bringing me to the airport by tuc-tuc, and Bunleing is coming along to keep me company. I am really going to miss all these wonderful people. My last memories of ACODO are of looking out of the back of the ACODO tuc-tuc waving to a more than a dozen waving, smiling children. Being a tourist was never like this!To the airport by tuc-tuc. One last look at these wonderful faces.

To the airport by tuc-tuc. One last look at these wonderful faces.

My wonderful trip to Cambodia behind me, I became slave to the line-ups and rude officials. One told me in a cross voice to: “GO. Fill in information (exit visa.) My reply was: “Do you mean PLEASE, fill in the exit visa?” He said he had no time for that. I said I had no time for rude men. When I cued again and he motioned me forward, I shook my head, turned and went to the other official. (Ha, Ha – no security police this time, I thought smugly!)

Airports are great: People in line-ups love to talk. I met some students from China. I met a man from Korea. I slept with a lovely man from France, Benoit. He had been in Shanghai. He had spent a month involved with a winery. We enjoyed dinner, watched movies, talked most of the night and slept and then enjoyed breakfast together. He has a winery in France, as do his parents. He said that he had visited Laos and Thailand, and that he planned to visit Cambodia. I told him of my experiences there, and info about my lovely orphanage. He was kind enough to give me his email address, and said that I would be very welcome to visit his winery. We agreed that traveling to capital cities misses the point. I was sad to part company when our 12 hour flight from Guangou in China finally landed in Paris. Oh, what a night!

Posted by Sue McNicholas 14:29 Archived in Cambodia Comments (0)

MY CAMBODIAN ADVENTURE - The trip is over -Jan 31.

sunny

THIS IS A TRAVEL BLOG OF MY MONTH IN CAMBODIA.
THE LATEST ENTRY IS SHOWN AT THE TOP OF THIS PAGE.
IT IS BEST NOT TO READ IT “BACKWARDS”, THEREFORE,
IF YOU CLICK ON THE "Table of Contents" ON THE RIGHT HAND SIDE
AND YOU WILL BE BROUGHT A LIST OF ALL BLOG ENTRIES.
AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE IS THE FIRST BLOG ENTRY: MY CAMBODIAN ADVENTURE - From London to Cambodia: just 30 hr

Enjoy the blog. I hope it inspires you to travel somewhere different!
{{ Please email me with any comments: I'm dying to hear! smcnicho@mun.ca }}

THURSDAY, JANUARY 31st


22 hours after leaving Cambodia, I arrived in London in flip-flops. I hadn’t have thought my arrival here when I gave my sneakers away. I made my way to the “Tube” and figured the changes and stations I had used 6 weeks ago. I hopped on one of the trains and sped along for 50 minutes. I exited at “Chalk Farm” and walked towards my brothers flat. I heard rapid footsteps behind me and turning, I met my daughter, who laughed, saying: “I knew it could only be you in bare legs, flip flops and your signature fedora!”

So ends my wonderful trip to Cambodia.

See the itinerary of this trip, and details about each destination.


(If Panama proves to be interesting, I will do a blog. Try googling Sue Mcnicholas Travellers Point starting around Feb 14th. )

Posted by Sue McNicholas 17:17 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

(Entries 26 - 28 of 28) « Page 1 2 3 4 5 [6]