Shortly after my last post the school where I got the job told me they wanted me to sign a contract to May 2009.... Although I have faith that Cambodian law is generally non existent and unenforceable anywhere I decided to be honourable and negotiate the term that I really wanted (to October). The school were very nice and agreed to this immediately which is excellent. However, an even better bit of luck is that I will start part time and then go full time in August. This lets me carry on teaching the children at the orphanage for another 2 months which is great for them and stops me feeling so bad! Perfect.
This weekend I went to the beach with some volunteer friends. No big exciting news - just deserted beaches and the usual coconut sipping, rice eating, swimming etc etc. However, a very different experience was the journey back from the "desert island" to the mainland by the tiny boat. It is the wet season here at the moment and so there is usually a massive storm/rain at about 4pm. At 3pm we could see a massive cloud coming over the sea and the rain in the distance - so we decided to leave before the storm hit the island. Big mistake! We summoned the boat and began the 30 minute journey. The waves were larger than normal and after about 5 minutes the waves were coming into the boat and soaking all of us. A further 5 minutes and we were in the storm itself. The rain was pelting down the boat was swaying so that we were almost turning over. At that point life jackets were put on! I honestly thought we were all going to end up in the water. I think my constant laughing was either because I was petrified or because it was truly hilarious. A bit of both I think. Anyway, we lived and the boat made it to the shore. We all climbed out looking like drowned rats much to the amusement of anyone nearby. An experience but not one I am likely to want to repeat in a hurry!
Here are some pictures:
The boat going to the island - nice weather, no concerns about the low edges/failing engine of the boat.. etc
Island life - coconuts for me and my scabby canine friend
Storm in the (not so distant) distance
Cambo countryside - taken on the 4 hour death defying minibus journey home - I lost count of the near fatalities. The most dangerous driving observed yet!