Caroline and Sven's Geriatric OE 2012 travel blog

Monks heading out to collect food/money for the day from the nearby...

Pagoda where the monks live.

Girls in the pond in the park collecting lotus flowers.

Beautiful lotus flowers. You can also eat the pod once it has...

Often saw this man in the market and gave him our small...

Pigs enjoying their food in an old tyre on our route through...

The pond in the park was also the laundry site for some...

Sven's new improved method of washing our clothes!

A couple of the thank you letters from our class at Little...

Our class at Little Po showing off their clown faces they created...


A few more photos and memories to share from our life in Takeo.

From our usual breakfast restaurant, every morning we would watch the saffron robed monks heading out from the pagoda, usually in twos.   They are not permitted to eat from sun- up to sunset nor touch women. They come and stand silently in front of a house/business.  The occupants come out with either food or money, raise their hands in a prayer gesture and the monks intone a blessing.  They are often quite young boys who may be living in the temple for a few years.  Obviously some decide to stay, but others move on into mainstream life again.

The pond near the pagoda was where people did their washing, or washed themselves and where the two girls are picking lotus flowers.  These,  together with their long stalks, are eaten.  One of the two girls had long false eyelashes and was wearing jeans, yet here she was in the dirty  pond water.

Every Friday at Little Po school we did an art project, which the children loved.  One of the photos shows the clown faces we made the last Friday.  It was very emotional for me leaving the 20 children in our group.  After teaching them for 4 weeks, you get rather attached to these children who have so little, yet who would always be bringing us different fruit to try and were so eager to learn.

We donated our two bicycles to the Takeo teachers college.  Souen was going to choose worthy recipients for us to enable two students to have their own transportation to and from college.  The teacher trainees are paid $2.50 per week during their two years of training.  This means they will need to have "rich" parents to support them or they will have to get a loan.  They are not paid any wages during the first year out teaching,  but get it in a lump sum on the completion of the year.  The teacher wages are somewhere between $60 and $75 per month so often teachers do other jobs to support their families.  They teach from 7 am to 11 am or 1 pm to 6 pm.  Sometimes teachers teach both times and often classrooms are used both times in the day for different classes.

It's nice to get little messages from those of you reading our Trip Journal - and to catch up with happenings.



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