We’ve had an amazing time in Cambodia. Phnom Pehn and Siem Reap have so much beauty and history. Phnom Pehn was filled with remnants of the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge regime, which still seem to oppress the people and overall growth of the economy and ability to elevate the people of Phnom Penh. There is still a great deal of poverty, destruction and corruption today… but it is a beautiful city. Crowded, hot, and beautiful.
Siem Reap seemed to have equal beauty and history through their temples and people, but appears to be further along the path to prosperity and the rise of a middle class from extreme poverty, mostly due to tourism dollars from Angkor Wat. We have enjoyed our time in Cambodia, mostly our time visiting and contributing through the water filtration systems program with the monks at the “Cambodia Buddhism School for Vulnerable Children” and time spent and supplies we were able to donate to the Elma School.
We feel full inside knowing what small efforts can make a huge difference to these families and children. Our intention is to continue to support these organizations in meaningful ways in the future.
Here are some photos from our four days in Siem Reap… we loved it here and fell in love with Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom and all of the amazing temples.
Tour of the Tonle Sap Lake floating villages (during a huge thunder and lightening storm…what were we thinking?)
Kayak Ride through the river (still not sure what we were thinking?)
Crocodile farm (pretty sad…they keep them there in a very small area, just until they are old enough to kill and sell for their skin).
Brooke practicing her back-walkovers.
ANGKOR WAT TEMPLE COMPLEX
Angkor Wat during a sunrise excursion (except the sun never rose, due to weather). Didn’t matter…it was still spectacular.
A very cool elephant ride through the Ankgor Thom complex to Bayoun.
Brad trying sweet potato pudding…mmmmm, yummy!
Bayoun Temple (smiling faces, ours and also on the temples).
Artifacts just lying around the area. The Cambodians do not have the money to properly restore all the Temples or artifacts around the temples in the Angkor Wat Complex.
Fun dinner swinging on the day beds at The Shanti Mani Club Hotel in Siem Reap. Mind you, we sat through dinner in the pouring rain…Brayden and Ryan kept dry with towels covering them.
Mountain biking through the villages and rice fields of Siem Reap, Cambodia. Bright Cardinal red mud flying everywhere! So fun.
A beautiful visit to the Cambodian Buddhism Association for Vulnerable Children (CBSVC). We donated 17 water filtration systems to the members of the village, one to their school and financial assistance to the children. It was a very moving day spent with the Monks, children, village leaders and village families.
Delivering school supplies, books and a donation to the Elma English School for Children. Brooke and Brayden got up in front of all the kids, introduced themselves and taught them an English lesson. After that, the children taught Brooke and Brayden how to count in Khmer. Amazing!
Brooke and Brayden participating in an art class in downtown Siem Reap at one of the Art Galleries.
Siem Reap by Helicopter.
Off to Japan!