With only a few days remaining in Kampong Thom, the team has definitely fallen into a morning rhythm. Sleeping until just before breakfast is served, choosing the favourite spread for the baguettes and enjoying a selection of either water, coffee and tea - anything to help with the accumulated tiredness.
Who’s excited for Siem Reap?? There was a communication mixup in the morning between the church pastor and one of the village pastors so after a false start to the day, we soon arrived at the Children’s Home. The plan was to start work on constructing a new footpath between the Home and kitchen at the back of the property. The original path consisted of bricks laid across uneven ground, resulting in a rickety walkway. Our first tasks for the day involved removing those bricks and carrying loads of rocks to form a foundation for the path. We all had fun getting dusty and sweaty but did not object to stopping at midday for a break. A delicious lunch of lok lak was cooked by Sam’s wife and another woman at the Home followed by a tray of fresh watermelon.
After that refreshing break, sunscreen was reapplied, gloves were put on and water bottles were refilled in preparation for the afternoon task of first transporting 50kg bags of cement to the kitchen then carrying bucketloads of sand and gravel to the pathway so that it could all be mixed together with water. The awkward positions in which we had to move some of these loads did tire our arms and shoulders but any discomfort was certainly alleviated by the accompaniment of Christmas tunes led by none other than Mariah Kerry. As always, there were a few incidents caused by the language barriers, including odd conversations and tasks that needed to be done in another way, but at 4:30pm we stopped work satisfied with having finished a significant part of the path. Next, the team capitalised on some much-needed showers back at the hotel before leaving to our favourite Love Cafe. The food was eagerly devoured after the hours of working today but no trip to this cafe is complete without an event of unusual occurrence. Although no one was startled by a gecko or rat rustling in the rafters this time, there was a prank.
Isaac orchestrated it so that Harriet’s phone was never returned to her after being handed to Loren. The phone’s absence was discovered upon returning to the hotel and soon afterward, Isaac and Harriet went to “look” for where it could have fallen. When they returned to the hotel, the phone was likewise returned and there was a general consensus of Harriet being an excellent sport. However, it seems unlikely that the pranks will stop here as neither Isaac or Loren were targeted in the night’s games of Mafia so stay tuned for further escapades in Cambodia.
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