11.08.2009 - 12.08.2009
Well it has been a couple of weeks now since I last made a an entry so I will fill you in on what I have been up to. For those of you who don’t know the school is in an interesting global position. It is the only place I know that has 3 seasons: The wet and dry like most tropical locations and a third season. This new season lasts a month and a half and provides an interesting break to the wet season. The kids are more crazy and the brothers are more stressed. It is the visitor’s season. In the past weeks we have a multitude of visitors: 4 schools and 2IC of the Marist Brothers. It has been good to have some proper English conversations and also to observe how the kids interact.
I am not sure I have mentioned it, Hun Sen (the Prime Minister of Phnome Phen) has a residence (high security) near us. A few weeks ago on Sunday night there was a huge explosion. I tin roofs shook as the shock waves hit them. At first we did not know what it was but from the top of the water tower we could see a huge fire. Apparently a truck load of rockets going to the boarder exploded sending rocket into the neighbourhood. Over the next week and a half 29 rockets were found in the area. This explosion brought back a lot of bad memories for the locals, particularly the older generation. So we ended up with about 50 people sitting outside our front gate.
A few weeks ago, the temp dropped below 30 degrees for the first time since I got here and I got a cold. It was suggested by some of the staff that I try a traditional Cambodian method to get rid of the staff. It involved having a cream rubbed into your skin until it formed small bruises. My theory was if any culture could do something that hurts that much for hundreds of years then it must work. Well I was wrong. The kids thought it was hilarious as I winced in the pain, as the staff member treated me (tortured me). I will try to put up some photos when the internet connection improves.
I have continued with my motor bike riding and ride into the city frequently. Thankfully I have not had many accidents. Just lots and lots of near misses, including one with a police officer.
I am often reminded of what a remarkable place La Valla is by the amazing sites that are taken as everyday occurrences. Yesterday, I saw Sa Ruan, who has lost a leg below the knee, pushing a boy in a wheel chair. Using crutches and pushing the wheel chair with his half leg- quite remarkable site.
Obtaining my visa for Russia has been interesting. To obtain a visa you need a letter from host. In Australia, you use an email copy of the letter but in the Cambodian Russian Embassy you need the actual letter. After many weeks and emails and phone calls I have finally received couriered to me at the cost of $110 US. So I have now lodged the application and hopefully will get my visa next week.
The current plan is to leave Cambodia in about 10 days and head to Vietnam.
I am sure as I leave the routine of La Valla and head onto new surroundings new tales will follow.