Inspired Words

These are the experiences of our volunteers in Cambodia.


Relax and enjoy

Posted in Cambodia on December 29, 2008

December 14:
Today's modus operandi: relaxation. I have nothing exciting to report and I hesitate to go too much in too detail so as not to make those at home in sub-zero weather jealous. Too bad – I can't resist. A small group decided to stay in Sianoukville the previous night in order to go scuba-diving and to shake it up. The rest of us took a 20 minute boat ride on the Gulf of Thailand to get to Rabbit Island. Rabbit Island is small and consists of little more than a sandy beach, clear water and a few food stalls. It was named Rabbit Island because apparently it looks like a rabbit. This is a stretch – I think whoever named it must have consumed a local 'happy drink'. We swam, ate, read, bathed in the sun, napped, frolicked and relaxed. My only concern was the coconuts falling on someone. I reminded myself of the Buddhist philosophy that everything is temporary and that what will be will be. Alas, my reflections did little to ease my worry and I was relieved that by the end of our visit everyone was happy, and above all, safe. Notwithstanding some really red faces and sun-crisped bodies, all was well.

On the boat ride home I enjoyed the ocean air and looked forward to a meal and an early night. After all, relaxing on the beach all day is a taxing work. Back on land, we hired some tuk tuks to tour us around Kep. We saw the remnants of the French colonial mansions that today now sit vacant and grown over leaving their glorious pasts only to imagination. We took a few token tourist pictures beside Cambodia's largest statue of a crab and moved on.

Speaking of crab, I should say that eating crab regularly is a treat that I will miss very much. A full plate of crab costs about $5 US. As much as I have enjoyed the food, I should mention that by now I have heard the following several times: “I would kill for a cheese burger”. Going to the White Spot is on my to do list when I get home. I also regret to inform you that by now the inevitable has happened: the runs. The combination of intense sun, late nights and new micro organisms have left our immune systems compromised. A fair share of us have experienced sore bellies, canker sores and shrinking appetites.... but nothing bad enough to dampen our spirits.

PS: Another predictable inevitability has occurred: romance. Sorry kids, no details for you.

Off to bed.

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