Tuesday, January 08, 2008

photos and more

for two days we stayed in a very poor part of the city. it's on the edge of a lake and most (if not all?) of the houses are built over the lake. this lake looks somewhat swamp-like in places because there are lots of plants in it, as well as a wide variety of garbage. most of the people seem to use it for their dump. which isn't horrible .. except that during the rainy season, the water level rises so much that to get to their houses people must walk through the water .. and with all the garbage and small living things mixed in, that isn't a very healthy thing for them or their feet. they have a word for it, in fact, translating to "water eats feet". being in our friend's house, the floor was built directly over the water. it was a bit surreal to walk around and see water moving beneath us. but we didn't fall through!

This is a view from the porch at our friend's house. He has a nice porch, maybe 12 feet by 6 feet? Both nights we stayed in his neighborhood, we ate dinner with our host family (who are also his landlords and live next door to him) on the porch, with thin pillows to sit on, bamboo mats under us, and yummy cambodian food. It has been rather warm during the days, but in the morning and evening, it is marvelous! With a gentle breeze off the lake and the sun setting it's just about perfect. In this neighborhood poverty is very present, so there are a number of things that are harder to look at and to see. But there are also beautiful things -- colorful sunsets, children with welcoming smiles, people who really care about their neighbors, hardworking and resourceful women, chubby men shamelessly bathing in the streets (wearing a skirt, of course!).

one wonderful thing about cambodia .. the food! last night we were treated to a meal with a family of eight that live and work here. the mother does a wonderful job of taking care of her six kids, including cooking healthy food for them. we got to help cut up vegetables, including carrots, cucumber, tomato, onion, green onion, mushroom, garlic and eggplant. there was also meat, of course! the final product was just the right way to end our day together. some common things in cambodian food are rice, garlic, fish sauce, and wide variety of vegetables. with the warm weather they have fresh produce all year round (i think) .. which is reflected in their stir fry and "amok" (yes. that is one of the kind of dishes they serve here. seriously.) and loc lak. mmm... everything so far is tasty. the best new fruit that we've eaten is called "dragon fruit". it is a kind of purple pink color, on the inside it's white with lots of seeds, with the same consistency as a kiwi and a similar flavor, although not quite as strong. very very good!

1 comment:

Bianca said...


a) you make me want to move to Cambodia right now.

b) thank you both for sharing your adventures!

Bianca (friend of Shelly) :)