My guide was Chuom Cheak, his English was excellent, although it did take him a while to warm up. The cost was US$25 for the day, and the tuk- tuk cost US$15.
I quizzed Chuom on life in Cambodia. I had already learnt that teachers are paid so poorly that parents have to supplement their income. If the parents can’t afford a supplement, then their child will receive minimal attention from the teacher. But it’s easy to pass exams, all that is required is an additional supplement! We talked about Buddhism and re-incarnation. Chuom wants to come back as me, that is white, wealthy (according to his standards) and residing in a first world country. Can’t say I blame him!
This is one of the wonders of the world, and it is extremely impressive. However, I did struggle to get a feeling for the people who had lived there.
I returned mid-afternoon ‘templed out’ to the Villa, and then headed into town with Tracy and Elaine. Elaine was from Perth Australia and had a lovely warm personality. She was in the third week of a four week stint, and confided in me that she was exhausted and couldn’t wait to go home. She had done volunteering before, and had always found it rather chaotic, but this was a new high for disorganization.
We went for a massage afterwards, the three of us in a large room all at the same time. The total cost for massage and pedicure was US$13.00 in total.