Friday, December 10, 2010

2nd-4th day in Cambodia

Posted by Dawn at Friday, December 10, 2010
On the 2nd day, we left for Prey Veng. But before that, had a good breakfast back at Asian Spice Cafe and went to a huge supermarket, called Lucky Supermarket at Phnom Penm before setting off.




It was about 2 hours drive there and I stayed awake throughout to enjoy the scenery.


We first dropped by at the Hope Training Centre to take a look at what the girls are trained in for them to make a living.


The girls were trained in soap, jewellery and bread making so that they can be independent and earn a living once they finish school.





Caleb had fun running around the place as its spacious. Moreover, he met his first Cambodian friend- a praying mantis! In fact throughout the trip, he had fun catching grasshoppers, crickets, dragonflies and even lizards!!



Another thing that amazed me about Caleb was how when we first reached Hope Village Orphanage, he told me to take out his NEW dinosaur toys (which I purposely bought just before this trip to entertain him) to share with the children there. He was excited to share and play with them.

He had lots of fun running around and playing with the kids there. I was pleasantly surprised how he seemed the happiest of all! I was also amazed at how patient the kids were towards Caleb because Caleb can be really hyper and childish for their age but yet, they enjoyed his company and look forward each time to play with him and spend time playing together.





During this trip, we were blessed with Mdm Chong, a non-Christian who has been coming back here to Hope Village to basically do what she loves- cook! She would cook for us and also teach the Cambodian girls how to cook.

So with her around, we were very blessed with more dishes to our meals (compared to only one dish meal which we would have to eat without her as that's what the children in the orphanage eat)

Here's what I mean...
This is a typical breakfast the children would have- rice and egg.



But with Mdm Chong ( a canteen store lady from Meridian JC), this was our breakfast instead! With added fried sausages and her homemade sambal belacan.


During the days in Prey Veng, I visited the wet market- a place which I always loved to visit when I go other countries as I love to see what they have and its uniquely different from country to country. Moreover, I may get to learn something from my visit there.





It was a very interesting experience at the market. I did feel strange to be there as I was definitely the odd one out but heck with that as I was more curious than to worry what the locals are thinking about me in a place like that.

During the first few days in Prey Veng, Mdm Chong taught the girls how to cook kung pao chicken and pork as well as bak chor mee (minced pork noodles)and finally,laksa!





So basically because of Mdm Chong, I didnt really miss Singaporean food.

During our stay in Prey Veng, we stayed in a hotel just 5 mins drive from the Hope Village. Cant expect a big room and toilet but guess I should just feel glad there's air-con.




The next day, we planned to go to the other village to distribute rice, oil, soap and canned food. So before that, we had to put them into bags. Caleb did helped us in his own small ways.


During this trip, there were two teams, aside from us, who went there. They were the NUS Pharmacy team as well as the Queenstown Baptist Church team who went to build houses for the villagers.

So on one of the nights, the Queenstown Baptist Church Team organised a nice dinner for the children as well as a concert.




The children all enjoyed their dinner as it was world's apart from their usual one dish meal.

The highlight of the dinner was when the team invited the family which they helped build their house for. The whole family came-parents, children, grandparents all came together to join in this celebration.

What struck me was how the children in the orphanage usually have their dinner at 530pm but that night, they had to wait till about 7pm for the guests to arrive. They were no complains and the children just waited patiently and quietly for everyone to arrive. I was amazed at how obedient and disciplined they were.

I hate to wonder how our Singaporean kids would react in a situation like this where they have to wait for an hour plus from their usual dinner time to finally get to eat...

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