Inspired Words

These are the experiences of our volunteers in Cambodia.

July 9: Another Rain Out

Posted in Cambodia on July 9, 2014

We woke up again to a driving rain storm and what seems like the real monsoon.  At breakfast, we discussed options including taking the time to visit some local schools or travel around the area to see more sights, but the rain was so heavy that Vy told us that the schools wouldn't even be in session because the kids all rode their bikes and scooters to school and the rain was too heavy for that.

Vy thought of buying tarps and using them to shield us from the rain and wind, so she called Mr Song and it looked like we had everything worked out.  We loaded up just before 0900 during what appeared to be a lull in the rain and everyone was pretty excited about the opportunity to get some work done.  However, about five minutes into our drive to the work site, the rain started up again in earnest and was coming down as hard or harder than ever.  We turned down the muddy road from Highway 33 and it was barely passable.  When we got to the front of the house that bordered our work, we saw that the pond we'd been crossing on a log was huge and the logs and bridge were invisible.  Vy, Dan, and Winston got out of the car to reconnoiter the situation, but it just looked hopeless.  We might've just waded across the pond, but the rain was falling so hard and the wind was so strong that no one thought the tarps would hold or be able to protect us and our work.  Sadly, we decided to turn back.

At the hotel, there was just not much to do except read, watch movies, and wait for lunch.  The rain never really stopped all day.  A little after noon, there was a short period of near clearing, so I walked about a mile to the crab market just to get some exercise.  I walked around the market area to see what was being sold and I purchased some packages of local peppercorns as gifts and souvenirs (white, red, and black).  The rained started to pick up then and I ducked into a restaurant for lunch just as another mini-typhoon wave of torrential rain hit the shoreline.

It seemed like the tarps and decking at the restaurant were going to blow in for a while, but the rain eventually let up as I finished a relatively quick lunch of grilled barracuda and rice with a big bottle of Angkor beer.  When I left, it was hardly raining and I managed to make it back to the hotel before it started again.

That's how the day went.  We'd have a short break,but you could just see the clouds building and another wave would sweep in.  Hansena and Luke took advantage of one short break to rent mountain bikes and tour the area a little, but they cam back soaked to the bone.  I hung out on the deck reading most of the afternoon, as did Dylan.

We talked about other activities, but not much was really possible.  Hansena brought up our desire to make sure that any unexpended funds from our trip (that we'd already paid to DWC) to to Equitable Cambodia to make sure the latrines were finished even if we couldn't do the work and Dan assured us that that would be the case.

Finally, at 1830, we returned to Holy Crab for another great dinner and talked about our chances of getting more work done tomorrow given the forecast (bad) and how we would handle our school visit on Friday (if it occurred at all) prior to the drive to Phnom Penh, dinner, and our departure from the airport to return home.

The cadets have kept a good attitude and managed to find productive ways to keep themselves busy during the breaks, but I can tell that it's wearing on them as it is me.
I did manage to take a few shots in the rain today, and here's the slide show:

All the Best,

Marty France
USAFA Faculty Chaperone & DWC Volunteer
Kep, Cambodia: July 2014

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