We arrived in Phnom Penh on 13 July and spent the night a The Frangipani Hotel near the Royal Palace.Friday morning we were up bright and early and after breakfast headed off to S.21 (Toul Sleng Genocide Museum), one of 179 detention and interrogation centres from the Khmer Rouge days. There are two men who sit thee everyday with books and DVDs for sale which detail there time as prisoners at S.21. They are now the only 2 living survivors from S.21. After S.21, we visited one of the more than 300 Killing Fields in Cambodia.
After lunch at Jars of Clay, it was ime to commence the long drive to Katie, our base for a couple of days.
Saturday we took a ferry ride across the Mekong River to visit a birthing centre built by Samaritan’s Purse Australia with the assistance of some very generous donors.
We were blessed this morning to visit with a young mother who had given birth on Friday to her second child, little by they called Yamin. We were able to gift her some baby clothes and even an elephant baby rattle! We then had a look at the old delivery room and the water system put in by Samaritan’s Purse Australia. It’s good to know that the villagers are now able to come to the Health Centre and fill up a gallon container of clean water for just 12.5 US cents.
After a quick look aound the village it was then time to head back across the river and for lunch. However, once we had backed the van on to the ferry, the ferry decided to break down. We then had to wait for a much smaller boat to come and tow us to the other side of the river. This was an interesting eandeavour as they had to allow for the current and tow us far enough upstream to allow us to float back down to the landing area.
We ate lunch at the Jasmine Boat Restaurant, which serves a variety of Cambodian and Western foods, and has a very interesting sign in the rest rooms, reminding everyone “Do Not Stand On The Toilet”!
During lunch a storm hit, with torrential rain and very strong winds. We were due to go back across the river to another village and look at a health and nutrition project. It was decided this wasn’t a good idea due to the weather, so instead we headed off to visit a local pastor who Samaritan’s Purse Australia has helped with an income generation project. The pastor was supplied wity some wire mesh to build a chicken pen, as well as 5 female ducks and 1 male duck. He purchased his own chickens and was also assisted with the building of a compost bin. He now gives away 50 chickens and ducks at a time to his neighbours to help then get started.
Sunday morning we packed up the van and headed to a House Church in Kratie Province. Unfortunately, the service had finished by the time we arrived, but we were greeted by around 100 very excited children who were eagerly awaiting their Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxers. The children sang us a song in Khmai and then we sang them a few songs, with Elise leading us in Heads, Shoulders, Knees & Toes, Our God is So Big and The Chicken Dance. We also played a game of Stand Up/Sit Down, with Wayne leading in Khmai. After hearing from one of the local pastors, it was time to hand out the shoeboxes and then play with the children.
After the shoebox distribution was over, we headed back in to Kratie town for lunch at the Jasmine Boat Restaurant where we experienced another downpour before jumping back on the bus to take the looooong drive to Kampong Thom were we stayed on Sunday night.
And so ends Day 3!