Blogs from Siem Reap, North, Cambodia, Asia - page 2


Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap January 31st 2019

We had the unique experience of going to a school opening. Trailblazer Foundation has fundraised and constructed 8 schools now. They work with the government to identify where new school are needed (population increases or lack of access) or school rebuilds because buildings are no longer safe. This week there were two school openings both due to dilapidation. It ended up being like a ribbon cutting ceremony. The school provided breakfast bread and water for all the students and the community families. The monks gave a blessing, governement and school officials and large donors gave speeches. The main donor came to the U.S. as an illegal immigrant and now owns a multi-million dollar company. His daughter threatened him to give away his money or she will just buy cats with all her inheritance. So he has ... read more

Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap January 30th 2019

We had a volunteer tell me a story of how he was brought to tears by a man who was selling books from a cart in front of the restaurant he was eating at. At one point, the gentleman was chatting with a Tuk Tuk driver who helped him open his bottle of soda because the gentleman selling the books had both arms amputated above his elbows. On our opening tour and everything we read about Cambodia it gave a strict warning ”Please do not buy items or give money to children peddling or begging.“ This is because they do not want parents to think their children can be more valuable to the family by being on the street during the day than at school. Our volunteer left me some money to give to the man ... read more

Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap January 29th 2019

One of the highlights of this trip has been the street food. Whether it was vendor carts in London or goat on a stick in Uganda, every country seems to have some street food creation. Siem Reap has been a street food gold mine of street food opportunity. Here are some basics to help increase your chance of successful dining: It is a good sign if people are eating there, this not only means people enjoy the food, but more importantly it means the food hasn’t been sitting too long Covers, plastic wrap or containers holding the food means the flies probably haven’t had an opportunity to get to it ICE...either food sitting in it or a cooler (if you are eating meat) or no meat sitting out The picture is what Den (our Trailblazer supervisor) ... read more

Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap January 27th 2019

Tonight at yoga we were staggered 3 in the front and 3 in the back. I took a back row spot per my usual. We went into a tree pose (pretty standard you put all your weight on one foot and then the other foot can either go toe to the ground, foot to the calf, foot to the thigh or tucked up into the groin and then hold). I don’t know why but my preferred foot placement is calf and then to close my eyes and see if I can keep from needing to put my foot down. Closed eyes always adds a challenge to the movement because eyesight is one of the main ways we keep balance. However, today, I decided I was going to keep eyes open, focus on a spot and see ... read more

Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap January 26th 2019

Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. This phrase kept running through my head as we went on yet another sunrise journey. Today we went to Phnom Bakheng which is known for its sunsets, but also ended up being my favorite sunrise spot. It is suppose to be a 30 minute hike up to the temple, but our driver Pairon would have none of that. He hiked us up in 15 minutes flat. There was a group of people gathered at the bottom of the temple and Pairon went right past and started climbing the stairs with Shelby and me chasing after. A woman goes, see them those girls know what they are doing follow them...I almost fell down the steps laughing because we had no clue. Pairon told us to ... read more

Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap January 25th 2019

For some ungodly reason people think sunrises are must sees. Typically, the only good sunrise for me is one where I am looking at the back of my eyelids. However, today we went to sunrise at Angkor Wat. If you walked around the surrounding moat surrounding, give yourself at least 3 to 4 hours. The temple was built in the 1100s and is known for its wall carvings and symmetrical perfection of 5 towers. The most popular photos are in front of the ponds at sunrise where the reflection of the temple shows in the water. At 5 AM, already hundreds of people had entered vieing for spots. We opted for a quieter view on a ledge of the outer temples. People still live inside the Angkor Wat and young children were about trying to sell ... read more

Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap January 24th 2019

After a tough day of deliveries yesterday, I was hoping not to be doing a double delivery day. But what I want and what I need are not always the same. We headed out and I was determined to focus on the good. We stopped for bag coffee and I was chatting with Den in the back of the truck about how close (near), close (not open), and clothes all sound similar but mean different things. When I looked up, there were 2 Asian people standing 4 feet away from our truck snapping photos of Den, our filters and me. I gave them a good glare down only to have 3 other people join in the impromptu photo opt. Not a good start to the day. In case I needed a reminder of why you don’t ... read more

Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap January 23rd 2019

We had finished a village delivery surprisingly quick because several filters were given to the same family who lived close to each other. We were on our way back to Siem Reap excited to grab lunch and be out of the hottest part of the day. Three of us were in the back of the truck and two in the cab. Heng is a very considerate driver to those in the back and will slow down if pot holes are unavoidable, but like most drivers, will use the shoulder or opposite lane to avoid them all together. One pot hole was the entire lane so he moved over but during that moment another car tried to pass and Heng had to swerve to avoid hitting him. The crash was averted and we were on our way. ... read more

Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap January 22nd 2019

Who knew rats...giant rats would be so helpful? Today we visited APOPO, an NGO specializing in the removal of landmines and live bombs/amunitions through the use of Giant African rats. The exhibit and demonstration were brief, but very interesting. During the civil war and Vietnamese invasion, landmines were a weapon of choice. The problem is after a war when the tanks and guns are done firing, the landmines still exist. The exact location of most mines are forgotten. Another problem is safe removal cost. The cost of the landmine was less than $10 but finding and safely disarming it now costs over $300. Considering there is an estimated 4 to 6 million landmines and other unexploded ordiances in Cambodia and Cambodia has the highest rate of disability inflicted from landmines (4 every week since 1979), the ... read more

Asia » Cambodia » North » Siem Reap January 21st 2019

Cambodis has become known for a period in their history when the Khmer Rouge ran the country. During this 3 year 8 month and 20 some odd days, one fifth to 1 fourth of their population was killed and many others fled the country. The goal of this period was to create a super communist nation as quickly as possible surpassing China, Vietnam and the Soviet Union. In order to do this, the leaders to extreme measures evacuating all large cities and forcing people back into the country side to farm and work on national projects, they eliminated national currency (literally blew up banks in the city) and outlawed trade between citizens, made all property (with the exception of a bowl and spoon) government issued or government property, split families apart and forced arranged marriages, and ... read more

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