Friday, November 8, 2013

SNEZ E-News - Bikes, Buffalo's and lots of Mud

Green Gecko Project - Photos by Poy

Our first week in Siem Reap, Cambodia...phew!!! A little bit of a shock to the senses with the heat, the smells, the people, tuk tuk's, tipping, currency. Lot's to learn and finally we're settling in. In the 6 days we've been here, I've started a pottery class with Khmer Ceramics, which I"ll be doing weekly while I'm here - I've already made four pots and I got a diploma....nice!
Stew and I have been on 25 km countryside bike ride to check out the area, haggled at markets and managed to bring down a pair of pants from $8 to $5,  we also stopped in at Green Gecko Project where we're working and had our orientation. We're meant to be working Mon, Tues and Wed, but looks like they're so keen we'll be working from Monday to Friday. It's the closest thing we'll ever get to a full time job.

The Green Gecko Band
Green Gecko is a school for former street kids. There are 63 kids from all ages who live on the premises and it's very exciting times. The kids are beautiful. I look at them and it's hard to believe that they were beggars on the streets with their little brother or
sister on their back in a pouch. They are the lucky ones to have this school.

We've already brainwashed the kids with our song 'Crazy Dog' and I'm teaching a couple of the boys the chords too. These kids pick up things fast. Next on the repertoire is to teach the chords for 'Imagine' to a boy named Laan.

Siem Reap is incredible. Cheap, rough, dangerous, but beautiful and humble  also.We've taken to riding bikes everywhere we go, it's cheaper. I can only describe it as being as thrilling as roller derby, but one strike and you're gone. Riding in the rain, through peak hour traffic and doing a left hand turn is one of the scariest, most exhilarating things we've ever done.
Stew, Vit and Pau
Bonton on Camera

Virak on khmer flute
Unfortunately volunteering in Cambodia has become so popular that some of the orphanages exploit the children to try and make money from tourists. They call it 'Voluntourism'.  There are lots of scams and the children are the ones that get hurt. So we were warned not to visit orphanages and unless they ask for a childrens check and to be very wary.

The kids at Green Gecko have already written their five songs and now we have to record the backings and guide vocals before Monday morning for each class to record their vocals. Off to dinner now - $1 a plate at Ivy's.....

Ok , smell ya later, snez and stew x


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