A Travellerspoint blog

Day Four

CCT Tour with Buffalo


Buffalo collected us from the hotel in the CCT Tuk Tuk at 8.30. He is a great asset to the CCT team. He speaks wonderful English, gets of so well with all the children who obviously adore him and he has the best laugh I have ever heard!!!

First stop was at a home where the husband had past away and the wife had been left to raise the three boys with no income or support. Through CCT a house was built on her land which no-one else wanted because her husband was buried on it. CCT also purchased a cart for her to sell rice custard in little cups and other Khmer treats. She was a lovely lady and wanted her photo taken with us so she can put us on her wall!! She was amazed at the girls ages.

Next stop was to visit a man who had been injured by a bull and was unable to use his legs. When CCT found him and his daughter he was in need of an operation. This has now been done and he is able to sit for short times in a wheel chair. His daughter had been struggling to look after him and herself and she now has lots of support too. They have some one who helps with the house. A volunteer Nurse had also spent some time showing her how to care for Dads health needs including colonoscopy bag and catheter - not a job many young daughters I know would be keen to do.... she is only about 10.

The older girls CCT move into a transition house when they turn about 16. There are house parents who look after them but they need to do most things for themselves with a little guidance when necessary. This was our next stop and we were very excited as we knew all the girls here. Mom came racing out - WOW she has come a long way in 16 months. When we here last time she could not speak any English and had just been rescued by the CCT team with her siblings and cousins who she had been raising. She has been taught how to knit and crochet and has the needles clicking away all the time. Not everyone was home but we saw a few of them. Siniet said she knew we were coming.
We also met Jake who is adorable. He is nearly four but is the size of a baby nearly one. He was very badly neglected and malnourished but is now thriving with lots of love and care from his new family. We have brought over a Jolly Jumper to help strengthen his legs. He does this Superman thing when prompted by the kids and holds his muscles up - it is really cute.

The Boys House was next which is the same as the girls setup. Although when we got there no-one was about as they had gone off on their bikes to visit people. No doubt we will catch up with them over the next few days. We did meet Tong who is a new adition to the CCT family since last time. He showed us the chickens.

Lucky Seven was our next stop I am not sure if they are the seventh family that CCT has helped or that they are the lucky seven due to there being seven children. These children have been placed with a Foster Family to care for them. The oldest girl has epilepsy and has a baby.

Last stop was to a man and his family suffering from polio. His wife also had fingers missing fromone hand. CCT has brought him a special Tuk Tuk which is outof action at the moment due to a roll over. He also has mechanical skills. His wife sells corn at the markets and she came racing back to meet us. They have two little girls who he is obviously very proud of.

Back to the hotel for a rest and get ready for Girls Night Out. Buffalo kept saying things to us about girls night out - we did offer to buy him a dress if he wanted to come along!! The Boys go out together quite often for Boys Night Out and have shots with Snake Blood in it but this was the first girls night.

We met all the girls at our hotel and enjoyed meeting some new staff/volunteers. After dinner we went to get our nails and toes done.... due to time running out we sat back and watched the staff enjoy this treat.

Trish Fiona and Helen sat in the foyer and had a couple of cocktails and the girls went into the internet room. They came over and said we can hear you laughing over there...... then they decided it was so embarassing they went out to one of our rooms.

What a great day .... CCT are doing so much more now and making a big difference to lots of lives. Well Done Tara and crew.

Posted by Fab Five 18:01 Archived in Cambodia Comments (2)

Day Three

Battambang and CCT here we come!!


Today is our last day in Siem Reap. We have had great hospitality from the team st Horizons and we totally recommend them to anyone coming this way!!

We set of in the van we hired for the day and went to the Angkor Wat Temples. Although we have been there before we enjoyed a relaxed visit with Belsi. We watched on old Khmer man do some fortune telling and all really wanted to have a go but would not have understood a word he said. We held a book over the persons head and they poked a stick into it to choose their fortune. He then tied a red ribbon around their wrist and chanted at it and then either blew or spat onto the ladies wrist, we were not quite sure.

Lunch was very enjoyable once again.

Finally we set off very excited to Battambang!! Woo Hoo - cant wait to see the kids. It took around three hours. The road is "paved" (sealed) now and makes things very comfortable. Sent a couple of texts to Tara and she was also very excited about our arrival.

Settled into the Khemera Hotel - amazed at the rennovations that have happened here in sixteen months. I guess that many hands and cheap labor make construction work happen much faster here than Australia.

Tara came and picked us up for dinner and asked if we wanted to go to CCT first ..... YES YES YES

The kids did not know we were coming and we heard some very excited squeals. It was lovely Roua came and gave Fiona a huge hug. His English is fantastic. Som Nung was the same with Trish and wrapped her arms around her. Hai and Heang were happy to see the girls and kept tickling them and running away with lots of little laughs. There are also many new faces and some were shy but a few came and said hello.

The new house is much larger then the old one and must make life easier for everyone.

Tou walked around and saw the girlsand said with a very loud WOW WOW WOW they are big.

Sahvenne was amazed also at the girls. Looking back at the photos of our last trip they have both grown ... alot!!

Had dinner at the White Rose with Marnie who is volunteering in the CCT office for a few months. The White Rose makes the best fruit smoothies in the world I am sure!!

Tomorrow promises to be a great day with a tour to visit some families that CCT have helped in various ways and the older girls and boys homes. Tara tells us that "Buffalo" will collect us from the hotel at 8.30 in the CCT Tuk Tuk.

Posted by Fab Five 19:30 Archived in Cambodia Comments (1)

Day Two Cambodia

Off we go to Smach


The Shinta Mani Team collected us from Horizons at 8.00am!! It was great to see Solomon again and he was very excited to tell us that we would be present at the FIRST auger drilling at the Village for the water bore. We drove North towards Thailand. We met with the Village Chief and Deputy Chief and also met Pierre (CFI) who is involved with this project with Shinta Mani. We walked around looking at various water holes which can be used for washing and animals but it is no good for drinking purposes. The water holes are just open holes in the ground so any contamination and disease can easily end up in there. We also visited a sewing centre which teaches the local villagers sewing skills. They were making government uniforms while we were there. The plan is to make mosquitto nets as all nets in Cambodia are made in Thairland or India. This is a great incentive and opportunity for this area to generate a large income. We waited patiently for the supplier to arrive with the machinery and equipment for the bore holes. We were advised he was coming in his hand made truck!! Finally after a very long wait we could hear something coming. Once he turned into the driveway we could understand why it took him so long! He set up the bore rig and then advised that he had alot of work to do stabilising the rig before it could break any earth. Solomon and Pierre are going to send us a DVD of this exciting moment and we will share then!! It is very humbling to know that we have helped improve the lives of 30+ families who soon will be enjoying fresh disease free water in a very dry area of Cambodia. Solomon advised that people in these villagers were moving towards the bigger cities but were unable to obtain employment, so they are looking at ways to keep them in their villages with training and opportunities to create sustainable business ventures.
After a long and dusty day we enjoyed an awesome foot massage at the night markets. Our tuk tuk driver Mal was a very nice and kind man with loads of patience... and a wonderful smile!! We had a late dinner at the Red Piano.... still waiting for the Angelina Jolle Cocktail to make us look like her ... no effects yet.. although Belle feels her lips are a little poutier.

Posted by Fab Five 03:03 Archived in Cambodia Comments (2)

Day One in Cambodia


Walked to the airport and checked in at 6.00am. Arrived in Siem Reap at 8.00am. Customs offical asked Fiona if she could read?? Another Stripey Bag inspection at customs in Cambodia.... they even unzipped and wanted to look inside!
Tuk Tuk was there to pick us up but they only had two tuks tuks for 5 people and 11 pieces of luggage but typical of Cambodia it all fit on!! YAY we made it all luggage arrived in Cambodia also!!

Horizons is great and the staff are very friendly and cant do enough for us.

After a very yummy breakfast we started our first busy day in Siem Reap

Senteurs d" Angkor is an amazing place. It has a great garden and craft centre. We saw weaving, candle making, and balms/creams/soaps all being done in front of us. The shop was awesome and we brought a few bits and pieces. Tried some nice teas as well. Some of the girls working there were amazed at Fliss and Sophias ages and said they were very beautiful and if they lived in Cambodia they would be movie stars.

Next stop was the Khmer Ceramics Centre were we "played" in the clay!! Unfortunately none us showed any great promise!! Trish was keen for a Patrick and Demi moment "I love you" Ditto!! This was lots of fun.

Butterfly Garden Cafe was were we had lunch .... it all sounded so good we did not know what to choose.

Fresh and fried spring rolls, sweet potato chips with curry mayo, cashews with lime and chilli, tofu with ginger and corn cakes with aoili.
Watermelon and lime juice, lemon grass tea and orange juice.

We then went back to Hotel and waited to be picked up the Tara River Boat Cruise. More on that later......have to eat again.

I am back to update the River Boat Night....

We were picked up Mr Solpon who spoke very good english. We travelled out of the main Siem Reap area towards the Tonle Sap lake area. The living conditions drastically declined as we went further out. Many of the homes are boats and they move around with the weather. Many are stuck now until the rain comes. (We have had no rainy days so far). The over fishing of the lake has made many poor people poorer. Any many fish species almost wiped out. One type of trap has been banned and we saw of few on the top of the police station where they had been confiscated. The fishing families used to catch water snakes to feed to the crocodiles in the farms but due to lack of fish now eat them. None of the water snakes are poisonous. January is also Wedding time in Cambodia and we saw/heard this on our tour the music is loud .... very loud!! Tara said that the wedding party goes on for two days and two nights!! Maybe we will buy a cd of this music for Lydias Wedding ha ha. We travelled along the river where lots of Cambodian families live and then there was a gap and the Vietnamese community started the two nationalities do not get on. Little boats came up to us with children with dead snakes wrapped around there necks for photos and one dollar one dollar!! After zooming along the river we went to a floating market and had a hold of a real snake which was very much alive. Fliss could not believe that Fiona held it. It felt very weird nothing like we all expected. We finally arrived at the Tara River Boat which is a bit like a old steam boat. The sunset was awesome and we enjoyed watching the changing sky, I am sure the photos will not do it justice. We enjoyed dinner and a few drinks and then returned to the van.

Although we had had a huge day we set off to the night markets and had a Fish Massage --- Well most of us did -- Sophia still owes a bet to Fliss. It is the most unreal feeling to have little fish nibbling at you feet and takes some time to "get into it"!! We had a quick browse at the beautiful items for sale and then enjoyed a Foot Massage for $3.... what a great way to end a fantastic day!!

Posted by Fab Five 00:54 Archived in Cambodia Comments (0)

We are off!!

We all met at the Hobart Airport at 5am or there abouts. First luggage weigh in went well and we breathed a sigh of relief as we were fine!!
Trish was picked out for a Bomb Check AGAIN. 11 items of luggage departing Hobart - will it reach Cambodia???
We hung around the Melb Airport for a couple of hours and then boarded the Airasia flight to Kuala Lumpur. To our great excitement we had lots of spare seats and were able to spread out and have a sleep.

Arrived in KL at about 5pm. All bags arrived here safely. The stripey bags were chosen to be xrayed. Walked to the Tune Hotel. The "cheap" hotel!! Add on towel hire, air conditioning. It was very clean and bed was comfy - shower fantastic. It was great for just a sleep and shower. You could not even swing a cat.

At about 1.15am some very LOUD indians were told to be quiet in no uncertain terms. How Rude!! People are trying to sleep around here.

Posted by Fab Five 00:42 Comments (1)

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