A while ago through this Blog a young woman called Britt introduced herself to me. Britt is from California and is a photographer and also works for an amazing US project called Girls Inc. Britt arrived in Cambodia on Friday night and she joined us for the photo workshop on Saturday.
The photos are going well but I am starting to stress a bit now because the exhibition is not long away - on 25 October - there are lots of good pictures but I am a bit disorganised (well that is how I feel). The children have been very keen to take pictures of themselfs posing in the true Asian way with the peace (V) sign rather than taking local shots. I'm all for that but not when in 3 hard hours there are 50 pictures of themself (with their own camera - how does that work?) and 4 of the locals. This week(perhaps learning from the methods used by those with power in Cambodia) Brian added a "sweetener" - 100 pictures this week and next week NOT of yourself/others and we will go on an exciting trip down the river to a resort to swim/play ball etc. In addition to this we went to a fairly crazy market where the kids were unlikely to want to pose. Both that and the bribe worked! The pictures are quite good and I'll but them on the Smile blog soon.
The markets we went to were hectic to say the least. However, I am now fairly used to Cambodian market life and the skinned (still alive) frogs/live chickens next to dead ones/beggars and what looked liked pickled sparrows in a big jar (oh I hope not) did not bother me.
The market did give me an opportunity to buy some kids pants for the next activity....
After the markets a quick lunch at my favourite expat hang out, Java, and then on to CCH to pick up 2 children to take swimming/playing at my international school. The head teacher was kind enough to OK this on Friday. Usually Sina takes alot of time to coax her out of CCH as she is scared ... well not on that day. Her and 2 friends (yes in the end we took 3), called Srey Lik and Menai, jumped into the tuk tuk and zoom.. we were off. Luckily we got into the school with no worries and we changed and jumped in the pool. The kids had told me they could swim....They couldn't.
Sina ready for the tuk tuk
Thank goodness for the life jackets we have at the school for the kids to wear!!! By the end of the swim session Srey Lik and Menai had plucked up enough courage to jump in to the water and were doggy paddling around (with inflatables still on). It was difficult to get them out of the pool until ice cream was mentioned. Then off we went to expat Fresco for ice cream where the staff were quite amused but as ever polite. The children chattered away in Khmer and were singing "If you're happy and you know if clap your hands" in Khmer too which I take to mean they were very happy!
It is very amusing because as soon as you are in charge of Cambodian children people (moto drivers/tuk tuk drivers and others..) think you are French or Italian. I'd like to think they think this because I am a sophisticated and coordinated dresser but of course it is because the British have a ban on adoption whereas the French/Italians export them in droves.... I am sure there is an EU case in their somewhere in that policy!!!