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Winging it “All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” - Martin Buber, Philosopher

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CAMBODIA | Wednesday, 16 January 2008 | Views [304] | Comments [1]

I don't know what I was thinking when I said this was a city without colour. Every street is lined with trees of fragrant frangapani, jacaranda types and other bizarre and exotic flowers I have not seen before. Every shop front and home has a lush collection of greenery planted in some of the most beautiful rustic pots down to old kerosine tins. I think we forgot to eat today as we were swept along on a tide of adventure - our first stop was a cafe on the riverfront which is owned and run by Cambodians to support an orphanage. When we arrived, the place was full of kids from the orphanage having breakfast before they went to school. We were invited to visit the orphanage to have a look, an offer which we happily accepted and followed the throng down a maze of back alleys between tall crowding buildings. We ran with the kids past startled faces till we reached their home, and then proceeded to climb 4 flights of stiars. They laughed at us when we reached the top as we were out of breath and rolling our eyes. It is a pretty special place, with a balcony view to the river, and very protected for the children. The kids are able to go to school daily and also receive training at the restaurant to ready them for the work place. They welcome donations of money and goods, but also donations of time - such as teaching music, reading, singing, art etc. Will add the link later:)

Afternoon tourist:

Jumped in a tuk tuk to experience important cultural learnings of Cambodia. Our driver was happy to oblige, listing things for us to do, including going to a shooting range (illegal)to shoot AK's M-60 etc, at targets such as chickens, dogs, cats and goats. We were considerably less than enthusiastic about this, however and opted for the more traditional stops. The Killing Fields was a strange and surreal experience. Of course there was the monument filled with the recovered skulls of the victims - some with clear evidence of a brutal death. You were able to walk through the area where the mass graves were excavated, an odd patchwork of troughs set against a beautiful lake filled with waterlillies. There was a 'magic tree' where loud speakers were rigged to amplify the cries of those being beaten to death. Partially buried in the dirt surrounding this tree and throughout the excavation site were tufts of clothing -faded and perished by the passing of time.

I also went to the genocide museum, but am rather disturbed by it at the moment, so I will write about it in my diary and consider whether to enter this at a later date.

After this, we needed a refreshing beverage and found an awesome restaurant/hotel -the Bodhi tree - like an oasis after all of this, and also one which supports safe children and provides training for underpriveledged peope.

Will try for some photos at the next stop - Siem Reap tomorrow

Cheers to all

Tash

Tags: culture

Comments

1

The killing fields sounds a very sobering experience. The Cambodian people have suffered so much.

We enjoyed viewing the photos of Hamish. The monkeys looked cute too!

Dad is at the cricket match against India today. He went yesterday and met up with his friend Bruce. Today he is going with Suri so I hope it is a good match. He will probably go on Friday as well so that should be his fix of cricket for a while.

Have a great time.

Love
Mum and Dad

  mum and dad Jan 17, 2008 1:32 PM

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