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Published: July 17th 2008
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!
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