30 Day Meme

May. 2nd, 2010 09:01 pm
pinikir: (Default)
day 08 → a photo that makes you angry/sad

I am going to bring you some of each. The pictures I have put under the cut are of s21 and the Killing Fields WARNING: these are disturbing and sad

Kids in Cambodia spend more of their time working than they do at school, and this picture...yeah I took it but it makes me every time I look at. Look at their facial expressions


I still haven't recovered from seeing these places first hand )
pinikir: (Default)
I've just come to the last page of the book that I have been using as my paper travel journal. It's the second book I've gone through and with a jolt, I realised I have been away for over five months. Where the heck has the time gone? This is also the longest I've ever managed to keep a diary and I am pleased to announce it is now a habit rather than a chore to remember. I've got my next journal already *pats the pretty*.

Which leads me on to my online travel blog. It is currently very sadly behind the times but I am going to spend the next few days getting it up to date. I've decided that the word count of it should be counted to my word target of the year for writing. It is getting written and edited for other people and I am getting comments on it so it fits my own criteria. The decision pleases me because it is so time consuming and does take a lot of effort.

When I first started the travel blog it was easy and fun but then people started reading it and I became a lot more conscious of what I am saying and how I am saying it. I am currently wrestling with how to describe the Killing Fields in Cambodia. It is very hard to put into words. Part of me wants to skip over it in a paragraph but I think I should be better with words than that. So I am going to try again.
pinikir: (Default)
I've been dreading going to see s21 and the Killing Fields ever since I came to Cambodia but I also knew it was something I needed to face and remember.

I guess I should toss a little history in here, I'm skirting around war and things here because O really can't face reading details right now. . In the 1970s the Khmer Rouge came to power in Cambodia. They wanted a Communist state and rounded up all politicians, teachers, policeman, lawyers who worked under the former government, any one really who weren't farmers or workers, to be put to death so no one could protest the changes.

Warning the details are upsetting )
pinikir: (Default)
On the way to the beach I visited an NGO that works with kids. They teach them to paint and sell their pictures for them. The kids get half the money the picture is sold for directly, and the other half is given to the centre to ensure the money is spent correctly on the kids. I bought a painting and five postcards. I'm willing to send four of those so drop a comment if you want one, I think I have most everyone's addresses now!

A usual throng of kids joined us as soon as we set foot on the beach today, along with two adults who were there to do threading on us (I had under arms and eyebrows done but sidetracking here). The girl who wants to be a tour guide was there and I gave in and got a funky little hairband from her and she pressed another free bracelet on me.

The kids seemed to multiply as the older kids noticed there was a group and herded the younger ones towards a likely source of money. Result, very crowded sun beds and plenty of giggles. Everyone else bought one thing off them during the course of the afternoon but there was a real sense of connection when we ordered a pizza for lunch.

We started on the pizza and looked at the kids. They didn't even seem interested in staring at our food. So we tentatively offered a couple of slices of pizza for them to share. My favourite was the first to make a move and she said with a puzzled smile,

'thank you but we don't know how to eat it'

Kids who have never had pizza. Well we set that to rights, showing them to use their hands and where we start on a slice of pizza. They broke three slices up among them. I'm never going to forget their faces as they took their first bites. Some smiled, some looked cautious and some pulled faces. Over all they decided it was different but not really for them.

When I can upload pictures, I will share three of the kids with you.

When I left the beach I braved two things - I left my ipod in for new songs to be uploaded and got my hair cut.

The ipod place said they could upload songs without deleting old songs (as long as there was space of course). They had a huge book of music, tv and films and I waded my way through it for close to an hour. I opted to try 13 albums all really recent to make sure it worked. It cost me $12. When I picked my ipod up an hour later all the songs were there complete with album art work and so was my old music. So happy with the result, and they've even installed in the ipod how to transfer the music to my computer without losing it. I was most impressed. I think I will get more added tomorrow.

The hair cut was fun and cheap. It cost me $5. It is all trimmed into a neat shape and straightened. After 5 weeks of no hair dryer and straighteners it feels amazingly good. Now if only hair cuts where cheap like this every where.
pinikir: (Default)

Meet the current bane of my life as much as I pity them. As soon as you set foot on the beach they swarm around you, trying to get you to buy bracelets and fruit. Now ignoring them doesn't get them to go away they keep pawing at you, saying how much they need the money. The worst bit is you can't really buy from them, if you buy one thing from one, then all the others demand that you buy something from them. And while one dollar isn't a lot of money, fifteen dollars is!

It does tug at the heart strings though. There was one lovely fifteen year old who wants to be a tour guide and from her height and bone structure she barely looked twelve to me. She sells all day long and goes to school for four hours in the evening. School costs 25 dollars a month and a good day of selling only gets her $5-10. Apparently she is lucky if this happens two days a week and any money she makes also needs to help support her family. I felt so sorry for her and yet there was nothing I could really do to help.
pinikir: (Default)
I have eaten snake ladies and gentleman.

It doesn't taste that bad, kind of salty and bland but it is incredible hard to eat. Snakes have so many tiny bones that you kind of have to worry a bit of meat off with your teeth and proceed cautiously around in a circle.

Also been doing some rather cool snorkeling by an island. Got rather burnt but the coral was really cool and some one did have an underwater camera which we all got to play with so photos will come on that once I can steal her memory card.
pinikir: (Default)
Slow internet = no photos and shortish posts, sorry everyone!

Anyway, I am completely in my element in Cambodia. It is an incredible country and one filled with contrasts. When I crossed over the boarder, my immediate reaction after seeing the first wooden shacks and less than smooth roads was wow this is a sad country. My opinion has reformed slightly, the standard of living they have makes me sad but the people are so warm and friendly.

Out of the main towns most people get their electricity from small generators or car batteries which only last a couple of days at a time before they need to be recharged. Kids beg or make bracelets and sell postcards so they can afford school and yet they never stop smiling even when you aren't buying from them and are just happy to have a chat with you.

I've been in the last couple of days:

Visiting a floating village
Saw Angkor Wat
Gone biking around an island
Swam at the base of a waterfall
Spent $9 on the beach and got - pedicure, nail polish done, a ride on a banana boat and a cocktail and many free bracelets from the kids who were as fascinated by my one hand as I was with them.

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