Phnom Penh Travel Blog› entry 44 of 66 › view all entries
Today we are treating the orphans to a day at the Water Park. At 9:00 am we arrived with our van loaded with meat and other food for an evening barbecue. Soon our rented bus arrived and we loaded up all the kids and staff and off we went. It was a hot and day and the Water Park with its cool water rushing down the tubular slides was a welcome sight for all of us.
The children could hardly contain their excitement, especially the small ones, and skipped around laughing and calling out to each other. It was good to see them enjoying themselves they rarely get a chance to come to a place like this. Of course the volunteers had to supervise to prevent accidents and misbehaviour. Our sponsors came around noon to make sure everyone was happy. All the children were treated to an ice cream, and we gave them donated juices. The children showed their gratitude to our sponsors by a big thank you and bigger smiles. Over and over I was dragged up the slides by laughing 8-year-old boys and slipping down again with the screaming little girls. We weren’t the only NGO there with kids another large group of dark kids was watched over by an American Teenager.
Lunch was baked chicken and rice that Sally and I had spent some time cooking and packing for everyone the day before. After lunch it was to the pool where I taught the older children Marco Polo. Arnie was teaching some of them how to swim. One curious thing was the girls all wore their clothes in the pool and slides, Cambodia is the only country were I have seen this, it must have been hard to swim in jeans and a blouse. The boys, on the other hand, simply swam in their briefs. These children are very innocent it's terrible to think that people come to these countries to exploit them.
Around 5ish we head back to the bus and the orphanage. Back at the orphanage we quickly got a fire going at soon the air was filled with the sweet smoke of cooking beef. Tables and chairs were set in the single classroom, that was also the dining hall, and the children ate their fill. After they had all eaten the volunteers and staff sat down to the rest, there was plenty to go around. Supper was heaps of beef, rice, vegetables, and pro hoc. The vegetables were cucumbers, cabbage, spinach, small eggplants (common in SEA) and a wide array of herbs (leafs, stems, roots etc) all of it raw. The big test was pro hoc a yellowish-brown mush of putrefied fish that seems to be the culinary pride of Khymer. It smells like something rotten so I just plugged my nose and dipped my handful (yes, they eat with their hands) of rice into the pot. It tasted salty and not too bad but I wouldn’t say it’s the most hygienic sauce.