Temples and Teeth

Trip Start Feb 27, 2012
Trip End Aug 26, 2012

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Flag of Cambodia  , Khétt Siĕm Réab,
Saturday, March 17, 2012


So lots has happened since my last blog as I've been away for just over a week doing all sorts.
First off, last friday 9th I went to Siem Reap with James. This involved a 6 hour journey in a mini-bus where there was basically no leg roomat all (as in the seats in front were literally pressed right up against my legs, very uncomfortable!) But finally we arrived and were met at the bus station by Mr.Phally our tuk tuk driver for the weekend who took us to the hotel where we got sorted and then out on the streets to see the local night market (which was just across the road from where we were staying!). And it was great, all sorts for sale and all pretty damn cheap, but before going round all of the market, becauwe it was actually massice, we went to get some food and a drink. Food was alrioght but best of all a pint of beer was only $0.50!! Sorted.
So we had a fair bit to drink before exploring more of the market and then found one of those places where the fish nibble on your feet (cant thin of a better way of explaining it, but you know what i mean) and best of all it was only $1 and you get a free beer! And I have to say, Ive always thought that it looks pretty terrible and a waste of monjmey but trust me YOU HAVE TO TRY IT, you spend about the first 5-10 mins just laughing because its so ticklish and yeah, just a good laugh. We also then decided that we had to get some ridisulous watches from the night market as then were (although obviouslt complete fakes) very cool and cheap.
Anyway, we soon headed back to the hotel as need a good night sleep as we would be getting up at about 4:30 the next morning so that we could get to Angkor Wat (massive temples etc meant to be 8th wonder of the world) in time for sun rise which was pretty amazing, spent the next couple of days basically repeating this, getting up stupidly early,going to temples for tyhe day and then went to other place like war museum etc and the nto the night market for food drinks and searching for watches.
So on sunday we got the mini-bus thing back to Phnom Penh, but this driver was an absolute nutter, going so fast that although the journey is meant to take between 7 and 8 hours, he did it in just under 5! Then,maybe because of this ormorelikely because of something I'd eaten, I was ill everywhere :( and the next morning I was to be getting up at 6 to go out to a province....

So monday morning we leave, still not exactly feeling 100% and after about 2 hours we arrive in the Kandal province where we would be spending the next 5 days with a dental team helping with extractions, fillings etc to the local people.
But on the first day i wasnt really up to it (still being ill everywhere) so I lay in bed and watched Ong Bak and slept :) but by the next morning i was allgood and we got up at 6:30 which seemed be becoming the routine (not nice) and headed off for breakfast. Donst know if I've mentioned before or not,but basically in cambodia for breakfast you have what you'd normally have for like dinner, so basically rice with pork and soup and stuff...bit odd as your body just thinks is lunch time but get used to it. Then headed to a local town hall type thing where we set up all the chairs for the dentists and table outside for pharmacy area and other stuff for teaching locals how to brush teeth etc
Then the people started flowing in, was very busy and my jobs were bascally to count and package up and distribute the drugs and also to clean the kids, because they were just so ridiculously grubby as they dont tend to wash..
The rest of the week basically just followed witht the same sort of stuff, also when i got the chance i would go inside and observe the dentists extracting teeth etc. Also there was one working outside under a tree right nect to everyone who was waiting just pulling out teeth and putting in fillings and everything!!
On the 2nd day there some dental students from america came and joined us, they were all really nice, but very typically american girls in that when it came to eating foreign foods they just wouldnt do it as they thought it was going to be dirty and they would get ill etc, so they went to the supermarket and got a load of western food, which if you ask me kinda goes against the whole point in travelling, just like rejecting the culture etc but oh well..
Anyway the rest of the week went really well and we got to know some of the kids quite well and would have a laugh with them. Also the american girls brought a load of toys for the kids,so we gave them  out as well which turned out to be pretty chaotic as they all like to just grab as much as they can and not share...but it was quite funny tho
Anyway on the last day we said goodbye to all the kids an dtook a load more pics and then headed off forlunch (at our local where we annoyingly went everyday for breakfast, lunch and dinner!) and then headed back to Phnom Penh.
On arriving we had to be pretty quick about getting sorted as we'd then be heading off to a wedding!
Once all the girls had finally got ready, we set off, thinkning that we knew where we were going. Although it turned out that we got lost a few times before finally finding it, to be fair tho it was in the middle of no where! Anyway we got there and were greeted by the bride and groom and shown to our table. Within 5mins we had more food than we could possibly eat and far more beer than we could possibly drink! And surprisingly the cambodians are (although they rarely drink normally) big drinkers when it comes to weddings. So a cheers would go round every 5 mions and you'd all have to down your drinks, which made for a pretty great night, lots of dancing (traditional Khmer dancing where everyone dances really slowly whilst waliking round in a big circle around a table)
By the time we arrived back everyone was absolutely shattered and just needed to sleep, especially because again we'd be getting up at 6!!
So we got up at 6 and headed off the the prison! This was where we'd be spending the day,treating the in-mates, whether it be medical or dental. It was actually really good and quite an experience as I've never been to a prison before, especially one where you just walk through it with the inmates everywhere just walking around and one of the prison guards is asleep on a bench!
Anyway, thats it for now ill try not to leave it so long next timeso that i sont have to write so much
Josh x

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