Football players and giving

Today I discovered that Cambodia has a national football team and as such, many football fanatics. The most amusing quote of the trip so far came today from a local driver during our discussion about international football players "David Beckham is best player. He very good-looking and good body but when he open mouth, he has voice like lady-boy".

It was also a day of dilemmas.  In a country where travellers and tourists enjoy rich natural beauty and ancient wonders, they are also faced with poverty, orphans and landline victims.  The dilemma is how to decide when to say yes and when to say no when there are so many people in need.

This was the issue faced today when visiting two very different places.  The first was a floating village on the Tonle Sap Lake, outside of Siem Reap.  It is quite an amazing place in terms of the natural ecosystem.  During the course of a year, the river and enormous lake rises and falls about 10 metres in total.  The changing river height forces thousands of people to relocate up and down the river bank according to the season.  Every year children are orphaned when their fishermen parents drown.  On a tour of the floating village, we were 'strongly encouraged' to buy a case of noodles or rice for the orphaned children and deliver it in person (which we did).   It all felt very forced but led me to the conclusion that regardless of how the 'giving' came about, the noodles would ultimately go to someone who needed them more than we ever would.

The second was to a Landmine Museum that showcased the incredible work done by one Cambodian to rid the local village fields of landmines.  An orphanage at the back of the museum supported many children whose parents had been killed by land mines and survived by donations only.  Tough choices when we as foreigners, are seen to have so much in comparison.   

Power outages and internet speed have confounded me again today, so images will be added to the new Travel Gallery page when I can.

Tomorrow brings a 13 hour bus ride from Siem Reap to the Laos border.  Goodbye for now Cambodia.