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20 Sep 2010

Cambodia so far...

This is my very first ever blogging experience and Sam has informed me it should be interesting, short and sharp (apparently he has seen my emails where I waffle too much), so here goes! I've now been in Cambodia for nearly 3 weeks and so much has happened already.

For example, people in Cambodia actually think I'm quite musical!!!

There are 16 of us in total now that Sam has arrived, including 4 accompanying partners. As it is September there are mostly education volunteers but also some health and livlihoods. Here's a picture of one of our many meals together (though we're not all there).

Me, Sam, Paul, Danny, Ingran, Dave, Kath, Jan

On the subject of food, so far Cambodian food is delicious although they do eat rice for every meal. In fact they love rice so much that their word for breakfast/lunch/dinner has 'rice' at the beginning: rice morning/rice noon/rice night! We found a Cambodian delicacy (see picture below) in the Phnom Penh market but so far I've held back! Apparently people started eating anything they could get there hands on during the Khmer Rouge time and the years afterwards and so acquired a liking for fried spiders and insects!

Yum Yum

To welcome Sam to Cambodia, we decided to take him on a long bike round around Kampong Cham province on our day off last Sunday.

We started late due to various faffing around and a small mechanical problem with Sam's bike which ended up taking an hour and a half to fix but only cost $2 so you can't really complain.

We cycled past these amazing floating villages.

We then cycled past rubber plantations, temples, women selling corn on the street, houses on stilts and other Cambodian countryside sights. By this time it was 2pm and we'd been on the go for hours in the boiling sun (we later found out we'd cycled 35 km) and I suddenly felt very faint and had to lie down on the side of the road. Did I mention that we really hadn't prepared for this journey at all and had had very little to eat and not enough water? Also it's so hot here during the mid day heat that everyone 'rests' between 12 and 2pm. Not us though, we were on a mission to see the sights on our day off. We were wearing appropriate head gear, however!

Paul, Me and Dave are wearing traditionl Cambodian scarves called 'krama' while Ingran is sporting a dishcloth all the way from London.

I ended up having to get a tuk tuk back with the other volunteers and abandoned the boys to another 20 km of cyling and island hopping in canoes with their bikes in order to get back to the town. We were all very exhausted and quite sunburnt by the time we got back to the hotel and celebrated our safe return (with only two casualities: me and Paul, who fell off his bike and scraped his knees and hands) with beers by the river.

This outside 'bar' is opposite our hotel and we spend quite a lot of time here in the evenings drinking beer, watching the volleyball games and aerobic sessions and the river traffic.


  1. if I had a pound for every time Id heard true examples of mad dogs n english men/women. oh well at least you could relax with some rice n spiders after n a siesta the next day! XxXxXx

  2. Gill's you musical??? Honestly, these people are mad!
    Am so glad you're loving your stay in Cambodia so far!!
    miss you and will miss you more at Sarah's weddin

    Love n hugs