|The flat tire...|
Anyway, all of the workers at the guesthouse are so sweet. They barely know English but they make attempts to communicate and I also try to speak in Khmer. Mostly we communicate with gestures and lots of smiles. They always call me, "Sissttaaa Emo-leee!" It is so sweet, they always refer to me as "Sista". They make the most amazing fruit shakes, I am seriously in love. It is almost like a milkshake but thinner and with fruit. The mixed fruit and the mango shake are my favorite! But I have been loosing my appetite again, for awhile I was able to eat just fine and I would actually get hungry. But for the last 3 days I have not been hungry, I almost dread meal times because I know I have to eat and I am not interested in food! But regardless I eat anyways so I don't get sick. Blahhh.
One weird thing about Cambodia: They don't accept old bills. I have not exchanged my currency into Riel at all and usually everyone accepts dollar bills. But if you give them a bill that is relatively old they will not accept it! It is the strangest thing...
They also have checked to see if my $10 bills are fake, haha it is really funny. It is only $10! But that is actually a good chunk of money in Cambodia.
I have been getting terrible heat rash since I have been here. My whole body has been covered in little bumps, and they itch when it is hot or I am sweaty. Much of it has cleared up and now I only have it on my back so it is not that bad. I really wish I brought some calamine lotion or something to ease rashes/itching.
There are begging children everywhere. I cant believe that some of them are out until 9:30-10:00 pm going into restaurants and begging for money! It is unreal. Yesterday I had a boy come up to me while I was at the gas station in a tuk tuk. He was begging for money or something, so I gave him some Oreo's I had in my purse and he seemed content with that. They told us not to give the children money, but rather give them food and watch them eat it so you know their parents don't take it from them. If we give them money then sometimes their parents keep them from school and they are denied education and just sent off to beg.
|Some of the kids in my English class|
|I just call him baby, he loves to be snuggled!|
|Playing in the flood!|
Today I witnessed my first monsoon! It was a huge rain storm and after 15 minutes it had rained nearly 3 inches! The orphanage had started to flood a bit but the children enjoyed playing in the rain. They were running around soaking wet, playing games, laying in the flood, and having a great time. I have never seen it rain that hard in my life and I live in the Northwest so that should tell you something!
|Laying in the flood waters|
Well, today was quite eventful! This morning we were able to witness one day of the Khmer Rouge trials. For those who do not know, The Khmer Rouge was the ruling party in Cambodia from 1975-1979 and were part of the U.N until the 90's. They were responsible for mass genocide, torture, enslavement, sexual crimes, and much more. They killed an estimated 2 million people in Cambodia over the 4 years. These crimes happened quite recently and the country is still recovering from the times of the Khmer Rouge. Many people in the country were directly effected by the Rouge and nearly everyone over the age of 40 has a story to tell.
Anyway, the Khmer Rouge trials started about 7 years ago and they are still in session in hopes of seeking justice for the individuals who were involved with such grave crimes.
Today we saw one of the trials, we were nearly 50 feet away from Noun Chea (brother #2) and Khieu Samphan.
Noun Chea was personally charged for crimes
against humanity, genocide, and war crimes. Khieu Samphan has charges regarding murder, extermination, imprisonment, persecution on political grounds and other inhumane acts.
It was so weird to be so close to people who committed such evil acts of violence. It was a surreal experience but I believe it was very good to witness at least one day of the trials. This truly is a historical event and the trials are very important to Cambodians.
Anyway, I am currently in a SUPER western coffee shop with free wifi. It kinda makes me feel like I am at home. It is times like this that I feel a little emotional and wish I had someone here to support me and really see what I am experiencing. There has been so much going on and my emotions can get jumbled at times. When you travel alone, you really realize different facets of yourself and you never really know how strong you are until you are put in a trying situation. I am surprised at the strength I possess, I never knew I had this in me.
Until next time,