One of my favorite nights in Siem Reap was when there was a world music day festival held on Pub Street. During this event, they had the children that live in poverty, go up on stage and sing with the musicians. What I loved most was seeing how happy the children were just singing and dancing. Although they don’t have much in their life, they appreciated the little things like dancing on the streets.
On the Kulen Mountains we ate a family style dinner and also saw a beautiful waterfall. We went in for a swim and took beautiful pictures under the waterfall. The only downside was that there were fishes in there and they were nibbling on our feet most of the time.
On Sunday we visited “Big Buddha” which is a carving of Buddha that is located at the top of Kulen Mountain. I learned that this carving was created on a big boulder that was in the mountains. Many people go there to pray.
While visiting the Bayon temple, we all got to ride an elephant and take pictures for just 4 dollars. I thought it was a great experience and also a fun one. They also offered rides on the elephant up the mountains but we didn’t have time for it. We had a very busy schedule while in Siem Reap.
Saturday morning, we woke up at 4:45 to visit Angkor Wat. We woke up early so that we could see the sunrise. It was one of the most beautiful sunrises that I’ve ever seen! After watching the sunrise, we explored the rest of the temple and learned stories about how it was created and why there had been many pieces missing.
On our first night in Siem Reap we had dinner at a wonderful restaurant called Khmer Bar Be Q. We ate great selections of Cambodian food and had a Cambodian style banana dessert. During our dinner, we also watched a live Apsara performance. It was beautiful!
We took a trip to visit S-21. S-21 was a place where they held prisoners and tortured them during the Khmer Regime. Going to visit made me feel very fortunate for my life and helped me learn about what my parents and grandparents had went through in their early life. The picture below is one of the many photo’s displayed at S-21 which shows two women escaping.
This week we prepared questionnaires with our group to ask youth organizations about information on employment. My group members were Minth and Bunhong, as you can see in the photo. Bing is not in my group but he took the photo with us!
June 4th was the first day we went to visit AUPP (American University of Phnom Penh). We met many facility members including the President of AUPP Dr. Sharon Siverts and Vice President of AUPP Dr. William Heidcamp.
It was very exciting looking out the window and seeing Phnom Penh! I haven’t been here in over 6 years so I was very anxious to finally take a step into the city and see how much things have changed. I can’t wait to explore the city and country side.