So we bus it out in to the middle of nowhere, we stop seeing cars and start seeing Oxen...being driven by 5 year old kids....welcome to the countryside in Cambodia.
This is part of a homestay in a traditional rural village described best at this site
We spend the orientation walking down the one dirt road of the village to a lonely Buddhist temple and Kakada explains the life and times of the Buddha based on some paintings on the walls of the hut/shed. We have a pleasant meal in the middle of no place in particular and are invited to share a drink or two with the farmer and his family who are putting us up for the night. With the help of Kakada translating the group has a genuinely pleasant and eye-opening conversation about his day to day life, how he met his wife etc. etc. He seemed genuinely interested and sometimes surprised as we shared info back on our own Western culture.
Sharan and i slept under a mosquito net on the landing of the hut - on stilts it was, toilet lit by a candle down the way - no electricity, only a generator you see. The stars were glowing bright with the lack of light pollution.
In the morning we ate and the family posed for photos - the husband had left at 5 to tend to his crops. We saw a monkey watch'dog'. numerous dogs, chickens, more oxen. We went to visit the school but it wasn't in session as the volunteer teacher could not make it that day - some children gathered when they saw us and we handed out toothbrushes and toothpaste to them - no sweets as their dental care is non-existent! We provided the farmer's house with a gift of cooking oil and supplies - the nearest market was a 6 hour trek away.
This turned out to be a warm and rewarding cultural experience for all involved. Then we were in for another twiest in our itinerary as we made for a place called Sihanoukville...