2 week in Khmer

muertemaria's picture

Well I have now been here for two weeks. It is going really well. I have now learned about 15 kids names out of 150 so I am doing terrible at that, but there are so many and I can't pronounce their names. I also think half of them are giving me fake names for me to say bad words in Khmer. We are still struggling a little with the alphabet and the numbers, but they are all doing much better. We did give out spongebob squarepants stickers when they got something right this week and that was a HUGE hit. Spongebob is universal. 

This past weekend we went to the Tonle Sap (lake) that is the largest lake in Cambodia. You can actually take a boat from here to Phnom Pen if you wanted to. It pretty much goes the length of the country. At this end of the lake there are a few floating villages that you can take a little boat out to see. We took a small boat out to the village and you drive around and get pretty close up to the houses. They kind of look like the tiny wood houses by the late, just that they float. The sad part is that they use the water for everything, drinking, bathing, washing their clothes, eating, etc. it is all the same water. After you drive around a little they have these barges that are tourist traps where they have a restaurant and a shop (which I of course bought stuff) and then they also have a crocodile farm right on the barge that is basically this huge pit with like 50 crocodiles. Overall it was pretty cool to see. The poverty is still really devastating.

Next we went to a silk farm and saw how they made silk. Holy crap! It takes a lot of work. The "machines" I use the term loosely because it is something from the 1600's how they get the silk. To get like a yard of fine silk they boil the cocoons (yes the worm/moth dies) and then they have a spoon that threads the little spiderweb size thread together and with a wheel spins them all together to make one normal sized thread. It looked like 75 cocoons made one thread. And then to make the fabric they use these old looms it was crazy difficult. And with such intricate patterns.

We also went to the provincial hospital here in Siem Reap. It again was like something out of a horror movie really. First - There was medical waste on the ground all over. vials, bandages, I saw a razor blade. Then we walked through the post surgery ward and every building doesn't have windows or AC and there are people lying on the floor holding up their IV bags. There is no food for anyone who is staying there so your family has to come and make food for you so they have an area where you can cook your own food over open flames. It was terrible. The one group of people who did get food was the HIV building. Doctors without borders funds the ward and everyone who is staying there gets 2 meals a day. Mostly because if you get HIV here your family disowns you so there is no one to make your meals. It was so sad.

I am getting very good on my bike. I like riding it around. I stay on the side streets though, less cars and tour buses.  

I am finally uploading some more pictures. I have been a little lax on taking my camera with me. New pictures are of only the Angkor Wat temple which is the big one everyone knows, we went at 5 in the moring to watch the sun come up. Along with 400 other tourists. I really didn't expect that. It was a little cloudy that morning so not as spectacular as it I guess can be, but this temple does not look real. It is amazing.  


Hello from DC

Mere, sounds like a lot of work and a lot of fun. We are all thinking about you in DC.


Heath Ledger died!

So shocking.  See what happens when you go away! Poor little Matilde.  Super sad.

Such sad news

LC's picture
Yes Mere you need to come home soon b/c I picked up Pillars of the Earth to read while we were in FL and now need to discuss. I love it! Keep the updates and pictures coming!

I know!

muertemaria's picture

Isn't it such an amazing book. Julie read it too. I think we might have to make it a book club book in the future. So sad about HL. We saw it on the BBC world this morning. Craziness.

So I did have more pictures of Angkor Wat but for some reason only 4 got uploaded. I will upload more soon hopefully.