Home Stay Shock

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March 1st 2017
Published: March 4th 2017
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So, after a morning at the Genocide museum in Pnom Penh, we set off for our home stay. It was a 3 hour drive, the last hour on dirt roads that had huge ditches to negotiate. If we had been warned what to expect we would have coped better, but we arrived to find we were basically sleeping on the floor, under mosquito nets that had holes everywhere, one toilet (hole in floor) and one wash area, which was a big cistern of water and a jug.

We walked up the track to a local wedding, I think we were being paraded round. Good job no one understood us, when Ken asked if the person in Red (the bride) was a chap in drag!

After we were fed at the community centre (rice) we watched local children perform some traditional dances, and they were really cute and sweet.

And so to bed, with possibly the worst 70's style music going on up the road.

Next morning, there was a walk to the local highlight, a waterfall and swimming hole. As it was so hot we were all keen. After 20 mins I realised my stomach was not going to allow this, so I hightailed it back to camp, feeling disappointed. 3 hours later they all returned, with grumpy faces, seems the waterfall hadn't impressed, and the swimming hole was stagnant with various things hatching in it, so the swimming opportunity was declined - thank god for a gypy tum. While waiting for the group Sarah and I chatted to a local guy who wanted to improve his English. When the Kmere Rouge was ousted from Pnom Penh in 1979 they set up guerilla camps in the area we were now in, where they hung on until 1998. If you were seen to read a book, they executed you, if you took western medicine they executed you, if you wore glasses........I think you get the picture. He was born in 1977, and spent the first 20 years of his life running and hiding, which is why this area is so behind and in need we fmhelp and support. Really makes you appreciate how lucky you are.

The afternoon was another hot 3 hour drive, but on route we stopped at the Stop cafe - I have never seen people so enraptured by wash rooms. We all kept visiting just to wash our hands in hot water, soap and towels provided. Even more of a shock was the hotel swimming pool when we arrived n Sihanoukville, it was a race who got in first - I won! The difference between the two nights couldn't have been wider. We ate on the beach, but left when the rave music started.

We now have two nights to swim and explore before we move on again.

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