Tuesday, February 24, 2009


After a day at "Willow's farm," we heard of a great opportunity to volunteer at a school in Cambodia and decided to go right away. Two days and about 30 hours of tight-squeezed buses, here we are!

We quickly learned that, despite their similarities (at least from our perspective), Cambodians and Thais hate each other, so we've decided to save our comparisons of the two for the privacy of internet cafes (our code word for Thailand is Denmark).

Immediately after crossing the border, we could feel that we were in a new country. The main highway was mostly dirt and gravel, the streets were cluttered with begging children, and wherever we went people followed, persistently wanting something from us. The harsh contrast between the expensive mega-hotels for tourists and the poverty on the streets in front of them was shocking. Even more surprising, though, was the friendliness and hospitality the people still have, even after the great atrocities of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge only 30 years ago.

At 5am on our first morning in Siem Riep, we jumped in a tuk-tuk (a 2-wheeled carriage connected to a moped) and headed off to watch the sun rise over the famous Angkor Wat. After 8 hours of ancient ruin hopping, we went back to our guesthouse to collapse from the heat.

We're now at Savong School where we're teaching English 6 hours a day. Will post about that soon...

Note the wise sage at the top.

This temple (Ta Prohm) looked like something out of Pan's Labrynth.

Monkey butt!

Bayon - check out the faces in the rocks.

Anna destroying ancient ruins.

Cambodian tuk-tuk.

Gas station.

Monk-mobile in Siem Reap.

Girl at internet cafe playing a hyper-gory computer game with the sound up.


  1. Hurrah -- another blog post! As always, the pictures and captions are wonderful. Can't wait to hear about the school and how that's going. Are you both feeling ok? Jamie, it looks like the beard went when you arrived in Cambodia. Great shorts!

    We can't wait to see you both in April but, in the meantime, are looking forward to the rest of the Southeast Asian adventures. It's great to be able to participate in them this way.

    Mom (and Ian and Caleb although I'm sure they'll speak for themselves eventually).

  2. this has nothing to do with your blog post, jamie, but i figured id let you know something...

    i'm living your dream next year: 3-bed/2 bath apartment in a small complex. me, peter, shimohn, frank, will temple, and torp.

    be jealous.

    loooove you


  3. ah, jamie-san. you can teach me all your divine wisdom when you return to the land of the living (usa)

  4. Love the photos, especially the one of the flip-flops. Hope my teaching books came in handy and that you can teach me a thing or two when you get back.
    Jamie the elder