The Khmer Spirit - Siem Reap (Day Two)

This country has experienced more brutality and war in its recent history (last forty years) than this blog can ever begin to explain.  And, when you think about the fact that it has only been since 2002 – 2003 since free elections were held and peace began to truly be restored, we were shocked to see how much progress has been made in just ten years.  It wasn’t at all what we expected.  “Resilient” doesn’t even begin to describe the amazing spirit of the Cambodian people. 

pig on farm.JPG
We visited a local farm to learn more about what it’s like to be a rice farmer in Cambodia.  More than 80% of the country makes their living from harvesting rice.  And, these types of visits help to educate tourists about rice production.  We weren’t comfortable taking pictures of the family, but were happy to take these pictures to share.

We visited a local farm to learn more about what it’s like to be a rice farmer in Cambodia.  More than 80% of the country makes their living from harvesting rice.  And, these types of visits help to educate tourists about rice production.  We weren’t comfortable taking pictures of the family, but were happy to take these pictures to share.

Floating village houses.JPG
There are more than 10,000 people that live in a cluster of three villages of stilted houses built within a floodplain of the Toni Sap lake near Siem Reap.  There are two seasons here – wet and dry.  So, many of these houses can literally be moved (floated) to accommodate the change in the river and lake levels.  They are basically migrant fishing communities.  We visited this floating village just as the rainy season was ending so many of the stores (like the one above with the beer sign) are simply flooded six months of the year.  During the dry season, when the water is gone, this store is open for business.

There are more than 10,000 people that live in a cluster of three villages of stilted houses built within a floodplain of the Toni Sap lake near Siem Reap.  There are two seasons here – wet and dry.  So, many of these houses can literally be moved (floated) to accommodate the change in the river and lake levels.  They are basically migrant fishing communities.  We visited this floating village just as the rainy season was ending so many of the stores (like the one above with the beer sign) are simply flooded six months of the year.  During the dry season, when the water is gone, this store is open for business.

This school also floats.  “Love Your Neighbor” School – after all that these families have suffered, this was particularly heartwarming to see.   The general sentiment with all of the people that we met was never to forget, but to definitely move forward.  And, they seem to be doing that very successfully.

This school also floats.  “Love Your Neighbor” School – after all that these families have suffered, this was particularly heartwarming to see.   The general sentiment with all of the people that we met was never to forget, but to definitely move forward.  And, they seem to be doing that very successfully.

Annie was a little bit scared of the actual boat ride that we took to tour around the village.

Annie was a little bit scared of the actual boat ride that we took to tour around the village.

Jackie is not afraid of anything.     Team SE Asia is now off to their last team stop – Koh Samui, Thailand – for a couple of days of beach fun and R & R before Jackie leaves to go back to the U.S.

Jackie is not afraid of anything.

 Team SE Asia is now off to their last team stop – Koh Samui, Thailand – for a couple of days of beach fun and R & R before Jackie leaves to go back to the U.S.