Monday, November 8, 2010

Cambodia part 1

Cambodia Blog 1: The Rain
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Sunday November 7th 2010

The sound of the rain is fantastic.
The ordinary city noises; cars and street venders and the distant thud of music from a loudspeaker are lost in roar of rain against mettle sheeting. And this city, slowly disappearing in cascades of water is home. Odd to think out, perched on someone else’s chair on someone else’s back porch and feeling so foreign.

The rain is letting up. Down the street two kids stamp and play in puddles in the road. A man balances on a moterbike while somehow holding aloft an umbrella. I had meant to go exploring this afternoon, wander through the two temples within walking distance, but now the streets are covered with a foot of water, and still the rain falls, though softer now. I am trying not to be frustrated. To breath deeply, the water heavy with water. There is a different sense of time here, far more relaxed than in the west were we guard our minutes as jealously as our dollars. Food at restaurants arrives slower, conversations take longer, smiles linger. To stay sane I will have to bridge the gap.

I met the kids today! They are beautiful, it’s the only way to describe them. Quirky and friendly and almost as excited to meet me as I was to meet them. Chris showed me around, classrooms, dorm rooms covered with paintings and origami, and the dirt courtyard filled with playing children, dogs, the smell of food and the occasion notes of music as children practiced.

My first job as a volunteer: photographing the newly formed “leadership club”. My job for the next few days: helping to set up a stage for a performance to kids are doing on Wednesday.

No pictures as of yet, I haven't had a lot of time for photography so far.

1 comment:

  1. I want to learn something about Cambodia. I know that during the War in Vietnam we heard about Cambodia as one of the border countries with Vietnam where the North Vietnamese had bases that were attacked by South Vietnamese and U.S. forces. But that was 40 years ago. What about today?

    Most of the 14 million Cambodians are Buddhist and a majority rely on agriculture for a livelihood.

    Chevron has done some oil and gas exploration in Cambodian territorial waters.

    The major U.S. import from Cambodia is cotton clothing. ($1.4 billion in 2009)

    The major U.S. export to Cambodia is passenger cars. ($86 million in 2009)

    Phnom Penh is the capital and largest city in Cambodia (by far) with a population of 2 million.