Friday, February 13, 2009

Royal Palace, A Walk through Phnom Penh

2/11/09 - Wednesday

Off to the Royal Palace with the group, - different for me to take these typical guided tours. It was cool to finally be in at "tuk-tuk"(a taxi). I was more immersed in the culture than taking these big tour buses around. I knew immediately why I don't do them often, of course its informative but it's fast. I'm glad I went to view and witness the beauty of it. I was so amazed that it survived the Khmer Rouge. Why they didn't knock it down or use it as some sort of prison - is surprising and unsensible. The wealth here strikes me odd sitting amongst so much poverty. Afterwards, the group continued to the Russian Market to shop. And me, I decided to stroll the streets of Phnom Penh. I've been here for 4 days already and needed to experience Phnom Penh on my own. I walked through the city with many scooters stopping and asking if I wanted a ride or interested in going to the Killing Fields. All very friendly and nice. It was wonderful to absorb it all in. The pollution here is unbearable but I accept it as a part of being in Cambodia. Upon returning to the hotel, I jump in the pool because unlike the weather back home it's hot here. Off to Bliss Spa, for a wonderful, much needed 1 1/2 hour deep tissue massage for only $28.00 (USD) Again, we finally venture out of the hotel in tuk-tuks for traditional Cambodian food. It was the best food I've enjoyed so far. Surprisingly though, it was more spicy then I thought. Anyway it was delicious. Scott joined us this evening and shares his amazing story. President of Fox - making lots of money, owning the big house, the car, yacht and living the "American dream". He was so unhappy. In between jobs from Fox to Sony, he took some time off and traveled to SE Asia. He witnessed the many poor children throughout the streets of Cambodia and generously gave them money. Until someone told him they are giving it to there parents and never receiving any benefits from it. He was led to the garbage dump and could not believe his eyes. Upon returning to the US, he decided to give his new job at SONY a fair chance and stay a year not to make any impulse decisions. One year later, to the day, he left SONY and headed to Cambodia. Cambodian Children's Fund is born with 45 children and now has approximately 450 children. I am overwhelmed to hear this one amazing human being and the love, compassion, kindness and generosity he has/and continues to share for these beautiful, special children.

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