Far, far, away

I was in Cambodia 2 weeks ago. Basking in the glorious sun, by a pool, with a cocktail, or 4. It was great to see Hannah, and it was even greater to do aboslutely nothing for a while. Cambodia is fabulous (what I saw of it anyway, which was just Siem Reap and Sisophon). We saw most of the temple – this involved a lot of me sweating my guts out, dragging myself up steep steps hoping that once I was at the top, there would be a light breeze. No such luck. Fantastic view though…It’s amazing how different “temples” are everywhere. Chennai temples look a lot like large houses, with dusty marble flooring, and small rooms inside with different Gods in them. I prefer the ones in Kerala, they have a more majestic feel inside (or is it holy?). They’re usually huge, with massive grounds and mini lakes and cows and the occasional elephant. They’re also usually quite dark when you go indoors, compared to the fluorescent lit temples here. Oh, and the floors always oily. Bonus. Anyway, the Cambodian ones were just ruins. Lots and lots of stone. Lots of rubble. Lots of danger (probably). But they were cool. You really do feel like you’re Lara Croft.

One of the temples – with awesome ‘guardians’

Apart from the temples, we also did other things – like learn to cook, Cambodia style. THAT was amazing. I have never done a cooking class before, and I learned to make amok (a coconut curry basically, with lemongrass and things) and spring rolls. They were excellent, no one was even injured in the process. Hannah and I also discovered a new, amazing peeler. It can peel anything. Straight after the class, we went to the shops and bought ourselves a few peelers. Yes, a few. They were that good.

Towards the end of the trip, I went over to Hannah’s ginormous house, and we stayed there for a bit, and taught some kids some art at one of the schools she helps out at. Seriously, kids are kids where ever they’re from. These kids have apparently never really had any art classes, and don’t have it in their curriculum either. So Hannah’s been trying to introduce drama, music, dance and art to them, slowly. We got some paints and made them do hand prints and cut around them to make animals shapes. They started off slow, obedient, they watched me do a few, and Hannah do a few, and suddenly got amazingly inspired. They were so so creative, they made all kinds of things, spiders, cows, birds, jellyfish, aliens and flying men!! They used foils, different coloured paper, paints and hand prints and finger prints! It was crazy. I think Hannah and I were a bit bored after our initial excitement, and were waiting for them to stop, but they just never did!

The kids at Koh Klun School

Some of their work

The work they’ve done is going to now decorate the children’s ward at the hospital down the road. We went there after the art class and painted grass and the sky with a large sun and kids playing volleyball and flying kites. It took us 2 days and we had help from the boys (Hannah’s friends, Jon and Pete), and it looked brilliant after! Jon and Pete plan to paint the beds too, so the children’s ward becomes all child-friendly and happy. After that, Hannah’s going to make some of the art work into bed numbers and put them up 🙂

The before shot

The after shot – It even reflected right!

The after shot

 It was so good to see Hannah after 3 years! It was like we never were apart, good sign really…I think it’s amazing what she’s doing out there.It’s not something everyone can do, go out to a country you don’t know, where everyone speaks a language you don’t understand, and then live there, for a year or so…I don’t think I’d be able to do it. India itself was hard enough, and I’m bloody Indian!! But I did do my good deed for the year too. All good deeded out. Getting back to Chennai and back to the real world was a bit rubbish. But it was nice to be home all the same. I guess I’m getting a bit old. Damn, how is it June 24 already?


Read more about Hannah here.

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