Today we left our first home stay village and continued to head down the river closer to Siem Reap, but first we have to stop at another village where we will spend the next two nights at.
On the way to this village, the river started to widen and the villages became much bigger. The boat didn’t drive that fast, so we could see the beautiful scenery very clearly. There were some birds that I saw flying close to the water, it seems like they are trying to catch some fish. Other times we could see local villagers checking the fish traps that they put out, hoping that there are fishes in their trap. It was truly a beautiful site, the blue sky blending into the green farm lands and river, it looked like it came out of a painting.
We reached the village at lunch time, and after having lunch on the boat, we headed to the local temple to help them paint the wall. The temple was under construction for many years, but due to do the amour of money the village donated to construct the temple, it’s going to take a long time to complete. We painted 4 walls with a nice pinkish white color. It was hard to paint at first because we didn’t know how to do it, but as we did it more it became easier to do so. Painting was a messy job, after painting we had paint everywhere; on our clothes, hand, faces and even on our hair!
After a 2 and a half hour paint job, we finally finished the 4 walls. Well sort of, the last wall was kind of 90% complete. Nevertheless the head Monk of the temple was very happy for our work. To thank us for our work he blessed us and tied red strings onto our wrists as good luck. The bracelet should fall by itself and on that day you would be lucky. If the bracelet is cut then that means you are throwing away your luck.
After this messy work, some of us decided to have some fun and play volleyball. It was raining when we were painting so there were puddles and mud everywhere on the floors. This was the condition which we played volleyball in and adding on with the uneven leveled ground it made it very hard to play. The 9 of us tried very hard and managed to have some good rallies, mud volleyball, it shall forever be remembered.
Finally going back to our home-stay house, we lined up for a well deserved shower. A bucket shower to be more specific. it was the best shower I have had all trip as I was so dirty and cleaning myself made me felt so clean. Dinner was again made by Yi, he is an excellent cook knowing how to use spices correctly and making everything so delicious.
After dinner we had an hour of free time were some people talked, others played cards and wrote in their diaries, it was the chill out time. As the sky darkened it was time for us to go to bed, even though its only 8:40, it makes everyone feel quite tired already. But before bed we have to reflect on some things that we would change when we go back into our lives. This comes from helping to paint the temple and seeing how a small effort we made can make a big difference to someones life. Many said that they would value what they have right now as the life of these people are so hard. Others said that they would help out their parents, minimize the stress that we bring to them. All these reflections would make us better individuals in the future.
As for now it’s getting late (8:54), so we are going to sleep now. Tomorrow we are going to visit the local school where we are going to teach and play with them. When the break for lunch, we have an hour to sand out the walls of the classroom so that the next group can do the painting. After lunch we might go back to the temple and finish painting the wall. But it might all change as the schedule is very flexible. Night.
(All cooked on the boat)
Fired Eggs with Onion
Beef Lok Lak
Pineapple with Beef