Demining Demonstration and Celebration Dinner

Siem Reap Travel Blog

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This surely must have scared some other hotel guests.

In the middle of the night I had woken up with an urgent need to go to the toilet. When I tried to open the bathroom door I found it locked. I checked Bryan's bed but he was in there ... strange. One of us must have pushed the lock button on the inside and pulled the door shut. The little key on the keychange didn't fit the lock, so I had to make a quick sprint to the toilets of the restaurant instead.
Today we didn't have to get up early since the building project was done. Still, when I woke up at eight I felt pretty horrible. It felt like a freight train had run over my back. The lower end of my back was hurting like hell and despite the 8+ hours of sleep I was still tired. I dragged myself to breakfast, which was followed by an interesting demonstration by the MAG Cambodia team.

Detection demonstration.
They had set up a fake minefield in the garden of the hotel (which surely must have scared some of the other guests).

MAG Cambodia employs a lot of women of whom the husbands have died in mine accidents, thereby giving them an income again. They also have disabled people that lost one leg among their deminers. Of both categories there was one person present. We first got a demonstration of how the deminers clear a field. The field is marked by lines and they slowly move forward with metal detectors. We were then shown how a deminer would dig up any detected metal that was found by carefully removing the earth from the back. After these demo's we could try on the protective suits and helmets, grab a metal detector and search part of the marked field.

Digging up detected metal.
We all found small MAG pins hidden in the grass.
After this demo and Jamie answering some of our questions, Frank continued to tell us something about all of the various forms of mines and UXO (unexploded ordnance) that MAG clears in many countries. This was quite interesting but by this time my back was killing me and I felt dead tired in the sun, so I decided to sneak out and catch some more sleep.

At lunchtime I felt a little better. Most of the group had booked a tour to Angkor Wat or the Floating Village in the afternoon, but since I had both seen these and would also visit Angkor Wat at sunrise tomorrow I had decided to go into town instead. Still not feeling too well I decided to cancel these plans and stay at the hotel, catching up with writing my blog.

Bryan demining.
When the rest had returned in the late afternoon I was feeling dreadful. I went back to our room, took my temperature and found I had a slight fever (38.3). Both Bryan and Brett would later do a health check on me but could not find any particular problem. Most probably it was just my body doing overtime on the healing of my leg.

I could have stayed in the hotel, but tonight was the celebration dinner and most of the team would leave tomorrow. I most certainly did not want to miss that. So I took a few painkillers and felt well enough to go out with the rest. We went to a stunning lounge-like restaurant where we had a private room on the first floor. Steve had set up a screen and projector that would show all of the pictures that we had taken during the trekking and building project.

Ed demining.
The evening featured a lot of exchanges of small presents, funny speeches and both Kat and Steve handing out 'awards'. I got the 'best pirate look-alike award' for wearing my scarf tied around my head against the sweat for most of the week. Steve also informed us that the profit of the event for MAG was roughly 30.000 British Pounds and what could be done with that money.

After we finished dinner it was time for a drink. I was in real doubt if it would be sensible to go back to the hotel or not. It didn't take a lot of convincing though that I might as well have one small beer. Err ... or maybe two ... or maybe ... It was just too much fun in the streets around the Banana Leaf bar. There was a band playing that had us all dancing around on the street while waitresses kept bringing us new drinks. Bryan impressed us all with his funky dance moves and we were amazed/shocked by the many 'working girls/boys' that were hanging around this area. Thus started what would become a very, very long night ...

Biedjee says:
Nice cliffhanger! :-)
Posted on: Dec 04, 2010
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This surely must have scared some …
This surely must have scared some…
Detection demonstration.
Detection demonstration.
Digging up detected metal.
Digging up detected metal.
Bryan demining.
Bryan demining.
Ed demining.
Ed demining.
Ed demining.
Ed demining.
Ed demining.
Ed demining.
The MAG Landrover.
The MAG Landrover.
Frank explaining the various forms…
Frank explaining the various form…
Sarah had broken a bone in her foo…
Sarah had broken a bone in her fo…
At the celebration dinner.
At the celebration dinner.
Steves speech.
Steve's speech.
Kats awards.
Kat's awards.
Kats awards.
Kat's awards.
Steves awards.
Steve's awards.
Martina winning an award for Best…
Martina winning an award for 'Bes…
Steve and Brett handing out presen…
Steve and Brett handing out prese…
Me and Martina at Pub Street.
Me and Martina at Pub Street.
Helen, Kim and Tina at Pub Street.
Helen, Kim and Tina at Pub Street.
Helen and Abigail at Pub Street.
Helen and Abigail at Pub Street.
Brett and Kat at Pub Street.
Brett and Kat at Pub Street.
Siem Reap
photo by: genetravelling