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Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States

Jan 29, 2012

Siem Reap- the rest

As we traveled around by foot and tuk-tuk we would see buildings under construction. At the same time it appears that other structures were abandon. It gave me the impression that some have tried their business at Angkor, hoping to cash in on the tourist, but couldn't make it.

Where were we on News Year Eve 2011?
At midnight we were asleep, at 12:05 AM I awoke to the sound of fireworks.
Our hotel was not close to this area, so thankfully the fireworks was the only noise we heard that night.

Having the fish massage is a popular business. The fish come and eat the dead skin off your feet. I wasn't interested, but the kids begged us to try it. The cost was $1 for 15 minutes. We saw one sign that said $2 no time limit!

The Acodo
Assisting Cambodian Orphans and the Disabled Organization.
According to the director, Cambodia is one of the poorest countries in the world. The kids here may have parents, but they are unable to take care of them. Most children are supported through sponsorship, I believe adoption from Cambodia is not that stable. This was my first visit to any orphanage.
These kids smiled, played and seemed well taken care of. I fought the lump in my throat as I talked to a few of them. I wanted to take them all home. The older ones English was quite good. I found their names almost impossible to repeat accurately.
One way they generate money is having the kids perform Traditional Khmer dances and songs. And ask for a donation.

This place had pizza and fries and was the kids break from the Khmer dishes. The money from here, according to the information provided, went to support an orphanage in the capitol city of Phnom Penh
"The Haven" (no photo) was another place we ate at. Their slogan "where helping tastes good." That place trains young adults leaving orphanages to cook and manage a restaurant.

We had to check out at noon, our temple tickets were expired and our plane for Hanoi didn't leave until 6pm. Here we are taking an ice cream break to help us pass the time.

I also don't have a photo of the $2.50 half hour body massage I got, while kids had the fish massage. I haven't had a massage before so I am not sure what to compare it with. Sometimes it hurt more than it felt good, maybe that is normal? The girl who did it was about a foot shorter than me and used her whole body to twist and pull on my limbs. If she gets paid the same for massaging some six-foot, 300lb,sweaty foreigner that comes in as she does for someone like me (who wasn't too sweaty thanks to it being winter) I am not sure it would be worth the money.

We needed laundry done during this part of our vacation. Thankfully for us laundry seemed to be every ones side business and the going rate was only a $1 a KG.

Everyone in the family enjoyed Cambodia. Siem Reap was a nice relaxing time for us. The people we encountered seemed genuine and friendly.
I know kids are vulnerable to exploitation and abuse where poverty is rampant. But Siem Reap did appear to have a lot of organizations that are caring for the poor with the money generated from tourism. Organizations that not only meet the needs, but provide skills that will help the poorest create a dignified income.

Our video

1 comment:

Michelle Roman said...

I love reading about your amazing adventures! and that video is AWESOME!! It made me smile!!