Today I got up early again as I had seen that there was a paediatric hospital down the road. There is currently an outbreak of dengue fever and they were appealing for blood donors. I haven’t been able to give blood in the UK because of my tattoo and when I get back I’ll be benched for 6months as I’ve been in Laos. Blood types are different here in terms of how common each is and so A+ isn’t the best type to be here but I figured it was worth a try, they can have a pint if they want it. Most the locals are too unwell or afraid to donate, apparently. So I went along and got tested to see if I was well enough and unfortunately I wasn’t, I tested anaemic and couldn’t donate, which has never happened before. My form was filed under “Failed blood donors”, gutted. I don’t think I’m getting enough iron, good to know. I’ve felt pretty pale and dizzy a few times the last few days and I’m sure it’s heat although on reflection it make more sense if I’m a bit anaemic at the moment too. Saw the children’s hospital anyway and the kids are just so brave. They are all so small and hooked up to all sorts, I met a little girl as she got off a motorbike where she was holding up her own IV bag of fluids. This is the sort of hospital I’d love to work at and has started me thinking on it. It was really moving and I was totally disappointed I couldn’t donate. We went out to pub street to get some lunch after spending most the morning having kindle time and generally being lazy after yesterday. This was the day Alex had asked me to organise so I booked us in to go quadbiking through the town and into the countryside. We went out into the paddy fields at sunset. Again, as the rains are coming, the sky isn’t very clear but the light is still lovely and it was cool enough to have a lovely time. Going through little roads through homes on a quadbike, I felt like such a hooligan and being on the roads in general felt pretty ridiculous. Going over potholes and round corners etc was such a thrill. All the kids came out to wave and having got my head around driving on the right and not being in a car, the challenge was to try and ride and wave back at the same time. It was really fun and I felt like we’d got to know Siem Reap better too. Then that evening we hit pub street properly. Had the most amazing dinner and then went to the night market fuelled by a long island ice-tea and a few beers. Which �I blame for the fact that I decided to buy a table cloth which I now have to carry around for a month but it was beautiful and I know exactly how it will fit into my new room. We had a great time bartering and met some great people. You get used to being asked to buy things or for money all the time but when a six-year old girl asked me for a meal today, she really got to me. Chatted with her for a bit and maybe I was being manipulated? I know that I’m such a push-over for a little kid. But she was tiny, it was late, she was coughing and anyway, what was I doing when I was six? Not asking strangers for rice so I bought her a meal and Alex made her laugh which was perhaps even more of a gift. The amount it cost was pathetic having just spend 6 times as much already on my dinner and drinks. It’s so hard to know what to do every time but I’d rather be wrong in losing a bit of money then in keeping it. We went to Angkor What?! and Temple Bar, met some people and I got t-shirts which will be fun to have to take away. And I managed not to lose them. Left at 2 or 3 and amazingly managed to be up at 6 to catch our bus to Phnom Penh.
Love to everyone at home, especially Charlie, I hear you are poorly sick
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