Today we met up with the no eaters club and hit the lake. It is ironic that I live on a lake I have never visited, but have come across the world, excited to see the Tonle Sap lake of Cambodia. To be honest, it is no Lake Lewisville. The lake people here are a slightly different breed, and are probably more likely to starve to death than accidentally mow over a water-skier while drunk on red bull and vodka. My analogy may be a tad macabre and definitely unnecessary, but the lake area is a very poor region. It is where those that cannot afford to live on land must live, barely eking out survival on the bounty of the lake. Schooling is an afterthought as most kids drape themselves in snakes or manage other creative ways to coax tourists into parting with cash. As serious earners, this time spent helps support their family at the opportunity cost of school. Our guide told us that we should not give them money, because doing so enables this to continue. It is a tough situation. Families need to earn money, but the only way to buck the trend is through education. Education is the key to developing countries.
We decided to spend our money on pencils and books for a floating school. The scene in the school was insane. Kids everywhere, yelling, writing, high fiving, and ro-sham-bo-ing. It was great to see some form of education floating in such an unlikely place. I really like today's pictures and hope that you do as well.
Zissou the pup and mom
BBQ beef, tasted a bit funky
Kristin getting a massage in our bed
Siem Reap students
On the way to the lake we passed interesting homes
This is a full truck
Some sort of local political HQ
A house on stilts
We were blessed with a nice day. It did not rain once.
A kid gazing out at the fields
I love observing village life
We saw these scarecrows everywhere
The kids over here mainly use adult bikes, so it is common to see them struggling a bit due to size
The further you get out of Siem Reap, the more ramshackle things get and you remember that this country is quite poor
Our boat driver, Captain Ahab
Everything on the lake is built to rise and fall with the lake levels. In the wet season the lake gets very deep, and the currents are quite dangerous for lake dwellers. Many people drown.
A machine shop
love these shutters
The waters are still fairly low, so this is definitely subsistence fishing
We passed man y commuters, and a kid on our boat was dropped off at a floating school
After a trip down the river, the lake opened up suddenly. It is huge. The largest lake in southeast asia.
So here is the drill, kids are ridiculously cute here. They come alongside your boat with snakes or whatever, and once you take a picture, they board your boat and demand a dollar.
Here a kid swims
Shouldn't you loons be in school
It feels quasi apocalyptic to visit an entire city on the water
It is the beginning of the wet season so the water level is still low
There are alot of these floating gardens
A colorful home
They even watch the World Cup out here
This was one of the nicer homes that we saw
It rains so hard here that you can only see a few meters
Out on the lake
This was the strangest proportioned dog that I have ever seen in my life
The Mens restroom, very liberating. Something tells me the pee just ends up in the lake anyways, so it is a civilized touch.
At the lake convenience store
The only flag to feature a building - Cambodia
This kid is clutching a pack of smokes
We bought some books for the kids to write in
Packed with kids
They all wanted to high five or play rock, paper, scissors
Ryan playing games
These kids were pretty fun
The ubiquitous peace sign
The whole crew
This was really funny. When we got off the boat, they tried to sell us these plates that had pictures of us on them. The best part about these pictures is they were completely candid and were all really bad. Ryan looked like a bad guy in Top Gun, and I am clearly frowning. Hilarious.
The stairs to a mountain temple
Puppy and mom
lazy day at Kool Hotel
Back to back "Rach Special" furmonster of the day - Pupsters
Some Tuk Tuk driver playing cards, love the reflection of me
AT Paper Tiger for lunch
Chicken Amok - A Cambodian chicken dish cooked with coconut milk in a banana leaf
Fan repair man
Kristin bargaining for shirts
Red Piano Bar
These fish are everwhere
Yup, we went there
While eating, we lost power, this guy banged around until it came back on
Ear candling. I felt very experimental tonight