I'd Rather Be Swimmin' in the Mystic

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July 17th 2008
Published: July 17th 2008
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We could hardly even sleep last night waiting for the sun to rise, literally with our cameras in hand waiting for the sun. The day begins so early here with people setting up shop around 5:30AM.

We began the day across the street to buy some toys for the children at the orphanage and then set out. I realized I have no idea where an orphanage is at home. Anyways, around the block we went to the Sunrise Village for Children. We were immediately greeted with smiling faces and open arms. After a quick check in the manager was happy to give us the tour. We started in the kitchen, cleaning, school room which were really all the same. Then we went upstairs to the boys room, followed by the girls room, then on to the infant play room. There are 74 children currently at this orphange from ages 1-17. Local families drop children off when they can not feed them, which must be VERY severe seeing some of the sights we saw today. The children are in touch with their families and most are even with their siblings. When they turn 18 there is another program for them to enter so they can earn money to survive. It's hard to believe that even these children are some of the luckiest children we have seen here.

After leaving the orphanage we set off to the floating market. It was a catastrophe! The sign said it was only $1 for entry but the man would not allow us to enter unless we paid $20 EACH. At this point there were four of us, as we were joined by Jen, a Peace Corps Volunteer returning from Africa. We argued and argued and got no where and very reluctantly, maybe even a bit scared at this point, gave them the money, which is equal to one year salary for most Cambodians in the area. It wasn't the point of giving the money, it was giving the money to that man, knowing it was going to no good except his own pocket. Urgh!! If I had known then what I know now, I would rather have stayed at that little station then continue on.

We reached our "boat", climbed in and it was probably then my stomach started to turn as I saw the water and feared what was within. As families were bathing in it I assumed I was being ignorant and kept all body parts away from the edges. After a 15 minute ride, and many deep breaths, we pulled up to this "floating market". I bought a notebook, but other than that, there was NOTHING there to buy, especially since it is too early in our trip to start adding to our back packs. I was so anxious to reach land again (see pictures). It was the first time I was REALLY scared.

We are now hanging out because it is too hot to be outside. We find ourselves getting so dizzy and light headed when we are out in the sun. Our bodies have not adjusted to the heat just yet. It's nice to be here though because the people are so anxious to talk with us. We are now sharing iPods, learning card games and local customs about marriage and dating.

We are leaving early in the morning, but not sure where just yet. We are either heading east to Ratanakiri to swim in a water filled volcano crater or south to Phnom Penh, the capital. Either way, it's a travel day so I may not be able to update for a day or two.

Thanks for the Sox updates!

~Thai Kho

Additional photos below
Photos: 14, Displayed: 14


17th July 2008

Great photos!
Your doing a great job with the photos. Its really giving a perspective of the places that you have been and the depth of the people. Great job. How about some photos of you and your crew as well? It would be nice to see how travelled you are. Be good and take care. Eric
17th July 2008

To afraid is to know you're alive
Guardia and good old fashioned poop! That's what was in the water. :P The things that scare you are the details you never forget.
17th July 2008

you're not kidding!
That water looks rather alarming! Your pictures of the orphanage were beautiful! Did you sing them our Annie song? Anyhoo, thanks for the pictures and story. Be safe traveling!
17th July 2008

Include some pics of you and the girls!!!!! Cheryl
17th July 2008

I hate snakes
OMG, I hate snakes, hate hate hate. Can't even watch them on tv, like on Survivor when they show them on Tribal Council all the time!! And speaking of which, this reminds me of Survivor. A show I love to watch but know from my couch I could never ever do. I have the chills. Icky! And that water, makes me thankful for my water bill, MWRA and all! God Bless Poland Springs. I think it is beyond admirable of you to visit that orphange with gifts. That is an amazing aspect of this trip. May God watch over them all and you my dear sister. We miss you much and can't wait for you to be home. How come it seems like you have been gone for so long already and it's been less then a week that I cried holding on to you in the street at Janice's begging you not to go! Ughh! I am enjoying the blog. Love you so much!! xoxoxox Oh p.s. Jaclyn fell in the driveway yesterday and clipped her head on the fence, she looks rough but she survived. Her head grew into quite an egg instantly! She's tough as nails though, was more upset about the ice I insisted on, then the fall itself. xoxoxoxxo
17th July 2008

K-ho, I want to adopt one of those Cambodian Children. It is so sad. They are too cute. Glad the snakes and aligators didn't get you, I probably would have had a complete panic attack at that point! Hang in there. Be safe!
17th July 2008

Oh lord I would die with all those snakes there. I give you so much credit Kristin! Miss you and be safe!!!!!
17th July 2008

Our equivalent to Orphanages are foster homes I believe
That was a very kind thing to buy them toys Kris. Seeing those pictures makes me greatful. It a call to the Sally Str also makes me want to place a call to Sally Struthers to donate money to her charity! Sounds like your having a great time despite the heat, grfeedy man at the market and the "little" critters in the river (as well as the germs! We miss you lots. p.s. I want a picture of you with your mask on!!!
17th July 2008

Kristin you make us so proud. How you do what you do I cannot imagine. Only once did I go camping but only because I knew there were showers. I imagine it was hard for you to leave those kids. Through your eyes we are seeing the way other people really live. We hear and see it on T.V. but its not the same. Your grandmother would have a fit with the snakes. She can't even look at a pic. of one. Keep up the good work. Stay safe and enjoy. Love ya.
17th July 2008

Miss You
Hey Mama! Those kids were so adorable! You are a brave woman, Kristin. Cherish all these moments. THe weeks will FLY BY!! Still missing you and wearing my new skirt OFTEN!! :) THanks Again!!
17th July 2008

Just keep swimmin', just keep swimmin'
Afraid as in Rech fraid? If I close my eyes I can feel the heat. I think the unrelentless heat invades one and leaves a permanent mark like a souvenier. May it be a memory that you look forward to leaving yet always remember. Southern NJ gets hot and you could come here for a "fix". my love, Lauren
18th July 2008

Oh Boy
So I have had no computer since I think you left.... Got a really bad virus and John is trying to fix it for me.... I am at PF and I am sneaking on right now...... to see what you wrote Anyways I have been wondering where you are and what you are doing... I am caught up now.... It reminded me of that show where in the world is Carmen San Diego... only its kristin howell haha I am glad you are safe and enjoying your trip..... I will shower double for you...do you have razors? haha Miss Ya Love Andrea..... Dave misses you too :) haha
18th July 2008

I believe you have a birthday coming up, so happy birthday to you! Is Ohio still on? Let me know.
18th July 2008

I wish I had my skirt!!
18th July 2008

Mary and Nik
Yes, I am purposely NOT in the photos. Who knows where they will end up. You never know thoough, I may be brave and post one or two.
23rd July 2008

That water definitely looked interesting. I would have been scared to go near that boy too...I don't like snakes! Thanks for the updates and pictures!! Stay safe!

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