Saturday, July 25, 2009

Here is the finished product. I was told that the new road is used by more people than ever before. People with their tractors, cows, water buffalo-drawn carts, motorbikes and walkers use this mud-free road.
Most people asked me to sit in the shade while they did the hard work. No thanks, I'm not a sitter.
The youngest child to help rake out the stone was 4 year old Bon Tin.
Even the children helped rake out the stone. This was no easy task in the heat of the day.
About a dozen neighbors came out to rake the stone evenly on the road.
At $35.00 per truck load of stone and $350.00 later the stone was placed on the road.
Another view of this muddy road.
Here is a road in a village that my friends and their families live on. During the rainy season this road becomes quite muddy. Being in the shade this road stays muddy for 2 days. I decided to lay down stone on this 4 block road after I became tired of walking in mud.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Here is the one class in their new school uniforms.
All the children immediately changed into their new school uniforms.
Here I am handing out more school uniforms for the children of this village.
When the uniforms arrived I revisited the village to personally hand out the uniforms to the children.
I recently visited a school in a village deep in Cambodia. After a discussion with their teacher I found out that the children would like school uniforms when I asked what they would want most. I then arranged to have 60 uniforms for 2 classes to be made and delivered to the school.
About a mouth ago I took my Cambodian friends to a water park in the city of Phnom Penh. The park had decent water slides and a wave pool as you see here. This group of 10 had not been to a water park before. The expressions they made coming down the slides and the laughter I heard were incredible.
On the way to the ocean my group of 14 people and I stopped off at this waterfall and had lunch. The kids and I swam in the lower section of the falls.
Here is a group of people that I took to a Cambodian beach. I took about 14 people with over half being children to an ocean resort. All but one person had never been to the beach and ocean. I rented a speed boat that pulled a large inflatable boat. 10 of us hopped on this boat and we splashed and bounced through the waves.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Larry, a friend who came to visit Cambodia, performed a dive off a 3 floor boat when we visited the Cambodian ocean. I caught this dive with my Canon camera set on high speed action. I placed the 8 images in Adobe photoshop to give the effect that you see.
I was impressed with his focus and determination to complete his typing. The children I have met in Cambodia seem to have a great desire to learn.
Recently I have been working in a center for disadvantaged and abandoned children. I assist with their medical care. The children live at the center and are provided food, clothing and school including English and computer. Here is You Phal (You Pal) practicing his typing skills. He has a short story from NY City in English and types the entire thing out.
The trees in the Anchor Wat area in Cambodia are tremendous. This tree is one of those featured in the Jurassic Park movie. These trees are also found in Hawaii.
For decades trees have grown on the temples and their walls in the famous area of Anchor Wat, some of the largest and oldest temples in the world.
Sunset near the famous Anchor Wat temples.
Sunset on the white sandy beaches along the Cambodian coastline.
Here my nephew Donnie, who came to Cambodia for a visit, is enjoying a fried spider. The little critter is oily and has a distinct taste. Cambodian people enjoy eating these spiders. I have yet to eat one.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

This kid came up to me after I stopped on my bicycle. Yeh, I ride a bicycle to and from the hospital. I bought a good bicycle with shocks. Anyway this kid was fascinated by me. Maybe my extremely white skin does stand out. I quickly pulled out my camera and got this shot.
These and 15 other kids in a village I visit go crazy over picture taking. It is easy to have fun with these people. I have played soccor and volley ball with the kids and laugh until my stomach (really the abdomen) hurts. Everything these kids do, be it soccor, volley ball or dodge ball (I taught this one to them) they play with passion and determination. I also have taught them soccor baseball.
This poor little girl was asking for money (known as Loi in Khmer or Cambodian). If you ever want to see a Cambodian child's eyes open widely say the word 'Loi' as in 'boy'. Anyway I gave her 2000 reals (Cambodian money). 4000 reals = one dollar. By the way Cambodia uses 2 currencies: reals and dollars. This little boy's face is just too much.
More smiles. I can't get enough of this.
The long wrapped objects are called 'onsom'. They are banana leafs wrapped around powered rice, coconut, a little sugar and either banana or pork. Once wrapped and tied they are steamed and later eaten. A third version has beans. I like all three. If you ever come here do not ask for 'onsom mango' (here mango is called swi). I frequently joke with anyone who presents me with 'onsom' by complaining that "but no onsom swi!". These people laugh outloud with this comment. Maybe I should try stand-up comedy here.
A million dollar smile here.
Well it seems as though Internet Explorer does not allow me to add photos and Firefox does. Hmm, go figure. Anyway I now have more photos than I can count of smiling children and interesting faces. What a smile on this child. Notice Mickey on her shirt.
Today is 17/02/09. The blooger posting page is different today and not allowing me to add photos. Once I figure out the problem I will reload more photos. Dr. D.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

At the swimming area many people sold food. Here are small, cooked crabs and tortilla-like chips topped with small, tastey shrimp. By the way the swimming was a blast with fast white water pushing many people around like fishing bobs. The temperature was in the high 80's and the water pleasant. As Arnold would say, "I'll be back".
Here I am enjoying swimming in a favorite manmade waterfall area deep in the country of Cambodia. Many people wanted to talk to me. Many people approached my friend and asked him how do I stay so white. "I want to be like him" they said. If they only knew what I go through living in Syracuse, NY they would stay dark skinned. The Cambodians, like the Vietnamese, admire and want white skin. Many of us Americans want darker skin. It seems to me that people just want things they can't have.
On the way to swimming at a small waterfall my friends and I stopped off at a roadside diner to have lunch. I was offered one of these cooked spiders. Ahh, no thanks. They also had 2 inch long cooked coackroach-like insects. Need I say more?
Every weekend I get out of the city and explore the villages with my 2 Cambodian friends/guides. Here I am biting into a freshly picked sugarcane. The outside cane is similar to the bamboo although not hollow like the latter. The Cambodians peel the skin of the cane with their teeth and then bite off a mouthful of the juicy, sweet and hard interior. There were many vendors throughout the villages that sold the juice after squeezing the hard core. Who needs candy?
Here I am with the pediatric ED staff at the National Pediatric Hospital in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Many of the patients are brought to the hosptial by private vehicles. There is not an EMS system in this city. After a month here in this hospital I am convinced that the Cambodain parents are the most patient people I have ever worked with. Also the respect they have for the medical staff here is unbelievable.
Another mildly anxious patient calmed with 'the toy'.
For those of you familiar with my egg-shaped moving dinosaur toy you'll understand why this young Cambodian patient is totally distracted and no longer afraid. I have used this type of toy for nearly 14 years in Syracuse, NY to calm scared kids with great success. I knew it would work in Cambodia.
I volunteer at the National Pediatric Hospital in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. This is the waiting room and triage center outside the ED. Notice the 2 baskets attached to scales. This is where the staff weigh the infants and children.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What a pig.
A close up of one of the hand made kites. Factory made kites are too expensive for most of the village residents. Notice the green ribbon on the front of the kite. During this day there were 4 kites in the air each with their own distinctive sound from their ribbons.
I have not flown a kite in years. The kite is large and the wind tuggs on it a bit. There is a 3 foot green ribbon on the front of the kite that vibrates in the wind releasing a harmonious sound.
After the funeral we all ate home made food (great food and this time no pig skin). In the afternoon after the funeral I joined with the residents of the village in flying hand made kites which is a favorite past time in Cambodian villages.
The villagers and I followed the monks and the casket to a huge cremation furnace. The monks recited a traditional Cambodian funeral song just prior to the cremation.
The evening before the wedding a resident of the village died. I was invited to the funeral the day after the wedding. The person who died was a 54 year old man probably from metastatic (spread throughout the body) cancer. Here I am walking with about 40 villagers behind the casket through the village. This walk was early in the morning and the temperature was in the low 60's. During the mid day the temp rises to the mid 80's in January.
Last weekend I was invited to a traditional Cambodian wedding in a village about 20 miles north of the capital city. The food was delicious although the vegatable soup had soft, gelatinous pig skin. Ahh, no thanks.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

This image should be before the previous image, but anyway, the 2 dishes in the foreground were diced, delicious salted meat with a hint of pepper. The dish and pot in the background contained sliced cucumber, baby sliced eggplant and bok choy-like vegetables. The vegetables are placed on a spoon, topped with a little helping of meat and then eaten. Chanang (tastey).
Here is a second dinner of Cambodian food by another family about 5 hours after a previous lunch seen on the next picture. Here I ate freshly caught and cooked river fish, fried eggs and sliced, white mango. This type of mango is eaten by topping a slice with cooked, delicious diced meat. This type of mango is not sweet. The sweet Cambodian mango is some of the best I ever had. By the way I have never eaten so much rice in my life as I have been doing for nearly 2 weeks now. I actually enjoy the rice now with every meal. 'Chanag' which is Cambodian for tastey.
Here is a family of one of my Cambodian friends. His parents invited me to their home and withion 30 minutes I was eating traditional Cambodian food seen on previous images. We are sitting on bamboo slathes (strips of bamboo that form the floor) on the upper level of the house complex which was built on 8 foot stilts. We ate sitting on the floor.
A large group of children not entirely shown here greeted us as we rolled into their village on a motorbike. I have a picture of the group of kids that I'll try showing later. I was impressed with the 'family' environment of this village. People literally invite you into their homes to eat or drink something and the whole family seems to get involved. I have been here just under 2 weeks and I have been in more homes and have eaten more home cooked meals then on any other trip.