Thursday, December 24, 2009

Ho Ho Khmer Style

Well it’s been almost three months since we moved here and it seems like 3 weeks.

Most of the time.
It’s Christmas in Cambodia and it certainly is different. Christmas is not a holiday here, since this is primarily a Buddhist country. Heck most of the time you don’t even know what day it is. I had a meeting with Aki Ra this morning and we were trying to figure out when the next mine field visit would be. I suggested Monday and we both had to stop and figure out when Monday was (today is Thursday – I just looked at my watch).

The ‘official’ work schedule for Jill and I at the Museum is Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, Wednesday in town and off on the weekends. We don’t go to the Museum on Wednesdays because that is the day the art teacher comes and there are no English classes.
So far we have been at the Museum every weekend except 1. And that is not a complaint. There is just a lot that needs to be done, and we are happy to pitch in where and when we can. And being around the kids is always an experience.

We are taking off Christmas day, tomorrow. Saturday I’ll be at the Museum by 9am since we have a contractor coming out to quote on finishing the wall around the compound before it falls down.

Monday I am taking our volunteer, Harvendar to the mine field. We finish this field next week and she leaves in 3 weeks. Then Wednesday we are doing the First Annual Landmine Museum Shop Inventory. We hope to have it done by noon.

The kids are just amazing. There is not a day that goes by that they don’t have a smile on their face, and a hug for Jill and I. For all they have been through I would expect some ‘down time’, but we just don’t see it.

One of the kids, Boreak, is an excellent footballer (soccer for you Yanks). I knew he had a tournament coming up soon so I asked him when it was. He told me they couldn’t play since they didn’t have uniforms. They do now. They are sponsored by the LMRF. The money was donated to buy uniforms for all 20 kids. Now they just have to win the school round to go to the ‘big’ city of Siem Reap to play.

One of the girls in the Museum shop is getting married this weekend and she gave Jill and I an invitation to attend. The wedding is Sunday. It starts at 11am. That will be half time in the Emerald Bowl, which is being shown here live. (BC vs USC). No doubt in the world where I will be. I love Khmer weddings…I just have to find my earplugs. The music is Khmer… and loud. And barrangs (foreigners) get the seat of honor…right in front of the speakers. I’ve lost enough of my hearing already…..

Now if any of you don’t know me well, I’ll tell you that I am a HUGE college football fan, and I live and breathe USC. I haven’t seen a game since we left in October and have had the Emerald Bowl on my calendar ever since I found it was live here. But…no way I will miss this wedding.

Someone asked why I don’t Tevo it. I laughed so hard I almost wet myself.

More as Christmas and New year progress.

Happy Holidays from all of us to all of you.

Babu in the Jungle

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