Day 9 Blog - John writing
Today we continued to travel south down the Tonle Sap River. We stopped at Kompong Trolach, a small village with a 150 year old Buddhist temple. At the dock we were met with 17 ox carts, one for each guest. We were transported by ox cart so we would have a chance to know what it was like to get around that way. Let’s just say, we all know why motorbikes are now the vehicle of choice in S.E. Asia. For many of us the real interesting part of the journey was the children who followed us. The guide had given each of us notebooks, pencil, and a ruler to give to the children. The little girl who followed my cart was Esmee, an eleven year old who spoke very good English. You will see in the photos how small she is. Esmee is in the 5th grade at an international school in a village five kilometers from her home. While she ran behind the ox cart, she quickly ran down to a pond, picked a lotus blossom, ran back to the cart and folded the petals while she ran (in flip flops). She was quite adept at conversation and very charming. She even sang a song for me – “If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands…..” She asked if she could ride in the cart with me on the way back – how could anyone say no? Along the way she pointed out her house, jumped out and ran home to leave the notebooks. As I was boarding the boat, I heard, “Bye John”. She had run back to the boat to say goodbye. Lois’ little girl also made a flower decoration for her and wrote her a note in English. All the other participants had similar experiences.
This afternoon on board the boat we are going to have a lecture about the recent history of Cambodia including the killing fields . After that we will have a few hours of free time when we hope to find an internet café to post this.