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The Big O.E An epic adventure across the world, backpacker style :)


CAMBODIA | Saturday, 26 May 2007 | Views [6592] | Comments [1]

Great spot for an orphanage eh?!

Great spot for an orphanage eh?!

Think of the most smelly, dirty place you've ever been. Then add razor wire through the rubbish and add 160 kids. This was the orphanage we visited in Phnom Penh. Pretty grim.

It was amazing to talk to the kids who have made it to high school in these conditions. And see other kids who were being taught to play traditional Cambodian music. Some of the kids weren't even orphans, but were sent to the city by parents who just can't afford to feed them, let alone send them to school.

I felt extremely lucky to come from New Zealand, and even more lucky to be married to a man who not only accompanies me to such challenging places, but who also gladly spends chunks of his travel budget helping these kids. Our lovely tuk tuk driver Ek, who told us about the orphanage, took us to the market to get a 50kg sack of rice and a huge tin of biscuits for the kids. Unfortunately, that wasn't even enough to feed everyone there for a day. 160 people eat about 100kg of rice each day - if there is that much rice available to eat of course.

The thing that left the biggest impression on me was a wee baby boy. He was 5 months old and just gorgeous. His bottom had bruises on it. Every time his bottle was taken out of his mouth, he would cry, even though he had been drinking for ages. It turned out that the bottle didn't have milk in it. Just the water left over from boiling rice. No wonder he was still hungry.

We offered to get him some baby formula, but they didn't want any. They asked us for condensed milk instead. It was a little confusing, as 45% sugar is a strange thing to feed a baby. But so is rice water. The only thing I can think of is that the water is so dirty that it would be safer for him to drink condensed milk rather than baby formula mixed with water. I don't know.

I just hope that the food we bought will keep them all going until the next traveller visits the orphanage.

Tags: Adventures




Let Christy have the details of the orphanage as our footprints program might be able to do something on an ongoing basis. Thanks for making the effort in the first place.



  simon_monk May 27, 2007 12:21 AM



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