On our last out-of-town trip, we again visited the northern province of Siem Reap. Jack, Marco and Sam live near the capital city, Siem Reap, Cambodia’s third largest city. Sam works in town at Rajana, the craft organization that we visited as a group when we were visiting Angkor Wat in late January. Rajana is a supplier for Ten Thousand Villages in North America. Sam’s host father works for Rajana in their ceramics shop, and there’s a very good chance that the Cambodian mug you buy from Ten Thousand Villages has carving on it done by him. Sam works above the Rajana retail shop painting designs on silk fabric. This fabric is then used to craft hand bags, pillow covers, greeting cards and wall hangings, among other things. Unfortunately, because of busy schedules for Sam’s young working family, we were unable to visit his host family’s home.
Jack and Marco live and serve in the floating village, Kampong Phluk. We also visited this village on the unit trip to this part of the country. It is still the dry season in Cambodia, so at this time of the year, the village isn’t actually “floating”. In a few months, however, the rainy season will begin and the water will rise. While there, we could see preparations underway to shore up the stilts and secure the houses for the oncoming deluge of water. Jack and Marco teach English in the early afternoon, between the two regular school sessions. This allows children who are in school either in the morning or afternoon to attend the English lessons with Jack and Marco.
In addition to their service, Jack and Marco have ample time to relax in the very hot afternoons and to explore the town and its surroundings on long walks. They have also had a chance to get out onto Tonle Sap Lake and observe some fishing by local men. Jack has been attempting to learn about his family’s garden and fish ponds, and in the early evenings, Marco has found joy in playing volleyball with a group of local young people.
Sam, Marco and Jack are all in the final stretch of their time on service, and are looking forward to their time back in Phnom Penh next week before heading back to North America in less than two weeks. Where has the time gone?