Sunday, March 23, 2008

Update from the Jungle

23 March 2008

Don’t eat the Mexican food.

I don’t think I have to explain to any of you what I mean by that. Whether it was the way they made the enchiladas or the fact that I’d been eating chicken and rice for a week, the dinner and I did not much get along.

Oh yeah, also make sure you have plenty of tp in your room. ‘Nuff said.

Sorry it’s been so long since I posted, but last week was a lot busier than I had expected it to be, with meetings with Aki Ra, trips to Phnom Penh, meetings with government officials and contractors and then paperwork, paperwork, paperwork.

Monday I went out to the Museum and had some meetings with the people there. It was very good and we went over a lot of things that need to be done. As I mentioned earlier, they ran into a really bad mouse problem. The mice even started eating the money they keep in a drawer for petty cash. Then last week they ate the copier. Well, not the whole thing, but enough of the wire inside so that it doesn’t work any more. They were going to try and get it fixed, but it’s one of those HP ‘all in ones’ that cost about $150 (even here) and the cost and time to fix it isn’t worth the effort.

And everyone thinks the mouse traps are ‘very dangerous’. Now, these are folks who run a landmine museum and have cleared a whole bunch of mines and UXOs. I found that amusing. But if you’ve never put together a mouse trap and had one snap on your finger, you know what they mean. So we had a little class in mouse trap setting. Just hope none of the kids start looking in desk drawers for candy. Nasty surprise.

Aki Ra and I flew into Phnom Penh Wednesday for a few meetings and boy what a difference to Siem Reap. Crowded, traffic, dusty and impersonal. We had a couple of good meals and my $30/nite hotel had a huge room and internet access so I was able to get a lot of work done, all except the blog.

The weather over here just gets hotter and hotter. It’s Sunday afternoon at 1pm right now and the weather is already over 90 degrees and the humidity is at 63%, so it is ripe. I’ve gone down 2 notches on my belt and if I don’t tuck my shirt in, 3. Svelt I am not, but I do seem to be losing some kilos.

The people here are very nice, both the barangs (foreigners like me) and the Khmers. I made some good friends in the NGO community over the last few months so I run into a lot of them around town and it’s nice to be able to sit down with friends and have coke or a quick meal. If I get really hungry for a home cooked meal I can set up a meeting at the Museum for late morning or early afternoon and catch lunch. Always great, and always more than I can eat. And if you know me, that’s a lot.

It’s Easter Sunday today. Since almost the entire country is Buddhist there isn’t much to see regarding Easter except that several of the shops are selling chocolate bunnies and Easter eggs. I cannot imaging buying chocolate bunnies in this weather. You better eat everything quick, ‘cause I don’t think anything would make it back to the guest house.

There are a few Christian churches here and they are having Easter services today, although I haven’t seen much about it. Just seems like a day in Siem Reap. Sunday is the only day folks have off, but since this is primarily a tourist town, everything is pretty much the same as any other day.

Next week we work on all the certification papers.

More to come


No comments: