At 3.30pm I jumped on a moto taxi, did my best areoplane impression, to make sure he understood my request to know where I was off to. My mum was arriving from the UK escorted by my husband Fred. 2 things made me smile on the way to the airport (although I was in a good mood already!). First, in front of the military airbase, right by the sign, bobbing in the wind was a massive Micky Mouse shaped red balloon....a great political statement photo could have been taken but I was in a rush. Moments later a small corgi was seen bouncing like a lamb through a patch of lush green grass! With all the billboards by the airport telling you how wonderful a destination Cambodia is the whole thing was totally surreal.
After an emotional reunion Mum was introduced to Cambodia via tuk tuk. It took just over an hour to get through the conjested streets. We arrived home at 5.30pm and the children were early! They were there waiting for us when we arrived. At that moment the Royal Palace decided to call me an to say I was a little stressed would be a small understatement. I was covered in dust and grime, had 10 kids in my house, the King's personal secretary on the phone and my mum trying to lug her suitcase up 3 flights of stairs!!!
They then interviewed 2 children and I asked if they needed any more help - "yes - we need a guest"... Well I had the perfect guest in mind - in the form of my mum. Off she went to make her impression on Cambodia within an hour of landing on the tarmac! The Kemp family do not do things by halves!
Once this was over I resumed "ambassador watch" until I spotted His Excellency Mr Andrew Mace. Andrew is in Cambodia as his first Ambassadorship (?) and has only been in the country 6 weeks. I spent some time talking to him before having to entertain other guests and my impression was that he was a genuninely nice person with an interest in the country. I would commend the FCO for their appointment!
The Ambassador, me, Sambo and Thavery - 2 of my students talk about the pictures
It was a busy evening showing people around, taking care of then children and trying to make some sales too! Calendars, coffee table books and prints are now on sale!! Many thanks to everyone who came - and if you are in the country and haven't been yet, the exhibition runs until 28 November. I am very proud of the children's achivements. The pictures look completely professional - and to think they are only 12ys - 16yrs old...and had not taken pictures before. If you are not in the country check out http://www.smile-cambodia.blogspot.com/ and why not purchase an unframed print! - Posted direct to your door!
With people leaving at about 10pm it was time to have dinner and a large glass of wine before heading home to get ready for the KING(!) on Sunday.......Phew!!... More on the amazing audience with the King later.