Like everyplace in the world there is a wide chasm between the haves and the have not's but that difference may be more severe here. The rich are fabulously rich and the 99.99 % poor are desperately poor. The government from top to bottom is very corrupt and we're told that even some school teachers in public schools require bribes to get into their classes. Considering what they get paid that's no surprise.
Yesterday we went slumming and walked to the famous and fabulous Raffles Hotel. You probably know that it is an old British hotel full of pomp and ceremony. We walked into the place like we owned the joint, meandered over to one of the swimming pools and parked ourselves in two of the lounge chairs. No one suspects old folks but we did decide it was time to go when the waiter asked us for our drink order and room number. A block away from the hotel was the real Phnom Penh.
There are no zoning restrictions here. The magnificent home of the woman who owns Ankor beer is fenced off but surrounded by squalor.
We had a struggle with our internet access and had a team of IT people in to fix it. One of them finally connected us to his system so now all of Asia probably has access to us! The IT people are most polite and helpful and are probably among the best educated here. One young man told us that he shares a small apartment with 14 other people. Yes, salaries are low here.
Our street food consumption may have caught up with Al. He and the bathroom haven't been too far apart for a couple of days.
Today we helped paint tables and chairs at CCF. There is a residential program there and several of the kids were eager to help. Some of them are really good painters!
Sunday is not a regular school day so classes are offered to members of the community. There were a number of adults attending as well as children not enrolled in the regular CCF program. We keep seeing more and more practical services offered by CCF, another of them a fresh water source. People come with their large containers, fill them up and carry them to their homes.
I've gotta' tell you, a shower never felt better than it feels at the end of our work days.
Molly Hi Joyce and Al, Yea! Lisa got the blog link to us. It will be so much fun and so enlightening to read your entries. And it should save you a LOT of time from writing hundreds of people individually. Love your spirit in taking it all in. Eager to read more! Eat wisely!