A Travellerspoint blog

Nov 26 Danielle's first day in Cambodia

sunny 34 °C

26 Tuesday morning and a sunny warm day by 7:30. Suddenly, we had a small downpour, which cooled the air for a short time. As we sat having breakfast on the terrace, Danielle had a chance to meet Jasmine, who she can not understand, though she finds her very friendly. We sat planning our morning, as we will not go to ACODO until midday.
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A relaxing time to enjoy breakfast and the sounds of a waking city.

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The plants are lush, and the light is so clear - so peaceful.

Soon we headed in to town to absorb the sights and smells and sounds. We had many offers of: "You my first customer, lady. I make you good price. It lucky." I even pinky swore on Buda with one girl that I would be back - If not Buddha will know that I am dishonest (sounds like this came from the Christian religions not Buddhist!!) We strolled under yellow umbrellas on Pub Street and poked into many market stalls, until 2 hours later, the only thing on my mind was a beer in the shade.
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Pub Street is bustling, but still, one can stand in the middle of the street to pose for a photo. Traffic is busy but certainly not crazy. No honking and no road rage.

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Danielle is writing postcards - What a refreshing idea in this instant Internet world.

We walked back to our hotel, showered and then walked to ACODO orphanage. Danielle met the director and then spent the afternoon in the classroom with me teaching, and her correcting the homework exercise and rewarding the kids with stickers on their work. She will have a chance to teach classes tomorrow.
Almost baptism by fire 15 children in the first class, but tomorrow we will split the class in two. There is a 5 minute break between each class, and 5 hours of classes. At 34 degrees in the classroom, it is a a challenging day. Danielle says she is not all that keen on kids. (Maybe bad experiences with spoiled kids back home) She did seem to take to the older kids, who were fascinated with blonde hair and a winning smile.

At 5 o'clock we left long enough to shower and change at the hotel and then returned for the evening show at ACODO.
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Sreidoeurn has taken to Danielle. They met each other in class today. (I think Danielle is taking to the little kids too!)
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Komsot is only 3 1/2, so he doesn't yet go to school or perform any dances. He enjoys watching the other children dance. There was a new element in todays dancing: The heavens opened and the heavy rain pelted the tin roof of our building. It certainly was a wonderful atmosphere, to be isolated under a torrential sky, listening to traditional instruments, watching these graceful Cambodian dances.

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One of the young boys dashes through the rain from our performance building towards his room.

Although there are a few streaks of rain falling in front of the stage, we enjoy another traditional Cambodian dance.

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This is a traditional dance. I must check to find out the significance. It is so graceful. Later I will include a short video of this dance on this entry.

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Sreilleaph (or Roat?), Chana and Kounga
At this point all three girls slowly grasp and sprinkle flower petals in front of themselves.

We enjoy an hour of the performance and then all the children get up on the stage to say goodbye.

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The timing is perfect, as the rain suddenly stops just as the concert finishes. If I were in New York, I would assume that this is just part of the special effects used to add drama.

Danielle and I left, with some of the children seeing us off right to the gates of the orphanage. We walked along the now darkened street towards the centre of Siem Reap where we will choose from one of the many interesting restaurants.

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Pub street and apparently dinner at a mexican restaurant, Khmer Tex-Mex.

Posted by Sue McNicholas 02:06 Archived in Cambodia

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