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Fishing Village; boat living

CAMBODIA | Tuesday, 30 October 2007 | Views [416] | Comments [2]

This morning I took off on my own to explore the village down on the Tonle Sap river. The drive down there out of Siem Reap revealed much higher levels of poverty and suggested that the touristo dollars will benefit those that can be in a position to "capitalize" on it; thereby widening the gap between the those that "have" and those that do not. My driver tells me that the government does little to help the people and are not trusted to serve the people; it makes me wonder how this new wealth will be used and how does it seed future discontent for those that are left out. The trip on the river was fascinating. I was the only one on the boat and the driver did not speak english very well so I will ahve to read more about the lives of the people. I saw families going about their tasks, fisherman tending to the nets, children sittting in school, and patients looking out the window at the local hospital. This is clearly a major tourist destination and the stream of boats going up the channel and into the lake was constant. I am certain that many in their huts on the edge of the lake feel like a zoo animal being observed. My driver is 18 but looks closer to 14. One of the boys that came and sold me a banana was eight but I would have guessed four. Nancy tells me that the stunting of growth is very frequent in countries where the children are not getting enough food. What a contrast to the obesity in children that we are seeing in America. After the floating village tour, I stop at at the Angkor Artisan workshop to see where they are training many rural young people in the carving and painting techniques of the old ways. I buy several presents here to help support their programs. The place is filled with tourists that spend freely; hopefully can make a meaningful difference. Tonight we return to Phenom Penh and I will finish exploring there before we leave for Thailand this weekend.

Tags: Adventures

Comments

1

I miss your journal entries.. I am getting worried.. Where are you??

  Kit Nov 5, 2007 11:36 AM

2

Hey Kim. I've been out of the loop because I have been out-of-town. Your letters are fascinating - I can hardly wait to hear first hand accounts and see your photos.
Patty

  Patty O'Reilly Nov 9, 2007 12:58 PM

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