A Travellerspoint blog

Another week in Cambodia

In Phnom Penh for the day!

Well it is Wednesday, my day off from now on! I was supposed to have last Wednesday of but I had my first lot of travelers sickens so did not leave the school.

I am glad to now bit sitting at a computer contacting the outside world!!
Today is a public holiday…there a 4 this week!! Yes 4, 3 for the kings birthday and 1 for harvest day1

Mum, Cambodian traffic is worse than the traffic in Vietnam. The intersections and roundabout will be very challenging and Fun!!

My Khmer is slowly improving. I have not got most of the main phases and I am slowly getting there with the names.

This past week and a bit has been busy as well. On Saturday I went for a bit of a road trip. We went to visit some of the families of the year six students to discuss there options after they graduate and leave the school. Most will being going down the road to a place called “Villa Maria” where they continue with some schooling and get skill in repairing and making wheel chairs. We went to 4 of the families in locations that are as remote as can bee. Driving on dirt road foe hours on end. We ended up near the Vietnam border. The homes are amasing. Little more than a room often housing 5 or more people. As Spartan as there living conditions were I do not think I would go as far as saying that they are living in poverty. There seams to be a real sense of community among the villages and we received welcoming getting offered mangos and coconuts. I enjoyed drinking the coconut juice straight from it.

On Sunday morning I went to mass with Br terry. It took us 50minetus to drive into and across the city! Got to love the traffic! As we drove it was quite startling to see the extremes of the country at one point I looked to my left and saw a Mercedes Benz and then to the right to see a lady pulling a cart. Then seeing 4 or 5 store Hollywood style houses complete with barbed wire fences and guard house and thinking about the homes I saw the day before. It was all a bit hart to get my head around!!

Things are now into more of a routine. My days are full. Getting up at 6 and breakfast is at 7. At 7:30 I am working out side till 11:45 then showering before lunch. It is Hot very hot! Friday it was up to 38 C!! After lunch I am helping in the computer room and have English classed till 4. They I play with the kids till 5. After dinner I have an English lesson with some of the staff and then help out in the computer room again till the generator goes off at 9. But that stage I am knackered.

I am now getting used to the cold showers…they are nice in the hot! But I am having limited success with washing my cloths by hand!

I need some help form all those who are teachers…most of you!
In my class with the staff members...they can all read!! I could give them a chapter book today and they could read it!! The problem is they do not understand what they are reading which means that they can not use the words they learn in conversation. As I do not speak khmer I have a bit of a problem. Dose anyone have any suggestions??

Going to the travel agent today to sort out visa stuff. Apparently what happens in the embassy in Australia and what happens here are 2 different things. Joys of traveling!!

I have got to go now! I have tried to replay to as many people as possible but have been at it for 2 hours now!! Sorry if I did not get back to you. I will try next week.

I will try to put up some photos next week.

Posted by Mike Lee 20:47 Archived in Cambodia Comments (1)


I am sitting in an internet café in local Takmao the local town. (I have a local boy just staring at me!!!) From here it is about 6 km to the school. What an amazing couple of days!!! So many experiences. The school is a wonderful place. It has 100 students, all with a physical disability. I arrived on Tuesday afternoon to see lots and lots of smiling faces. The generator was not working on Tuesday, adding a bit of excitement to the day.

It is hot and very humid!! Very Humid!!

The past couple of days I have spent a couple of hours in the morning working in the garden. Then a couple more doing odd jobs… so far I haven been a Metal worker and Plummer.
The afternoons have been spent with the kids if you can call them that, a lot are my age… the ages of the students range from 10 to 25. It was quite remarkable taking a boy who can not use his arms or legs for a swim!!

On Thursday we went to the hospital!! WOW!!! It was basic very basic. We were taking the six most severely disabled kids to see a French medical team as a part of an ongoing program. Just being with those six kids at the one time is confronting in it self! Tom and I went to help carry the kids up and down the stairs as the only ramp is covered in scaffolding. With the kids and Tom and I in the truck there was only room to two wheel chairs. The local Cambodians where very taken with tom, myself and the kids. Some would just walk up and touch to children and ask them questions about there disability (I do not understand what they were saying but the body language said a lot). The locals spent a lot of time talking about Tom and I making no effort to hide it. They would just point and laugh, but I do not think there was any malice in it. They were very nice even moving closer together on the bench to make room for us to sit down. One lady I sat next to was inquisitive she kept rubbing my hands and then stood up to look down the back of my shirt. I am not exactly sure why… Maybe to see I was white all over... I do not know!! The kid thought it was hilarious.
I was also very difficult to try to take two of the kids to the toilet that is not set up in any way for disabled accesses.

I will be teaching some English classes while I am here… so we will see how that goes. I have also started to learn to rider a moto (aka a motorbike!!) at the moment Punya (the Cambodian administrator of the school) is only letting me ride on the dirt road the school is on before he teaches me to drive in Cambodian traffic!!!! It is lots of fun!!!

I think that is all for now!

Hope all back in Australia is well.

Posted by Mike Lee 20:16 Archived in Cambodia Comments (4)


In transit

I have got about 5 hours before my next flight.
I am now heaps exited. Once i got on the plane and realised this was the nerves went and it was pure !!!
Did not get much sleep.

I am glad that you are checking out the blog.

Posted by Mike Lee 15:18 Archived in Malaysia Comments (0)

First Entry

Leaving in approximately 1 day, 5 hours, 18 minutes and 10 seconds

So this is the blog.
I thought I better write something here so I was not just a blank page.
I do know what to say and I still have a lot to do.

Posted by Mike Lee 21:37 Archived in Australia Comments (5)

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