I emerged from my room this morning to find the hotel swarming with military personnel. Apparently the Prime Minister of Cambodia - Hun Sen - is in town for the day! The roads were filled with trucks of soldiers. Sak's older brother - Say - later asked me whether I thought war had broken out again!
Sak has to work today, Tuesday & Wednesday, so I spent the morning walking around Battambang, visiting the market, listening to people's conversations and trying to pick up words. My vocabulary is increasing but I'm still a little shy to speak Khmer to people I don't know.
After lunch I met Sak for coffee (gaa-fee d-teuk-o - coffee with milk) before riding 3km out of town to visit the SOS Childrens' Orphanage where I sponsor a 6-year old girl called Sein Mom. I've only seen photos of her before, in which she looks quite boyish, but they've allowed her hair to grow longer now and she is a lovely little girl, very shy, but with exquisite manners. I spent about an hour with the Director of the Orphanage and Sein's adopted mother. There are 15 'families' living at the orphanage, with 10 children living in Sein's house. Each house has an adopted mother to look after them. They all seem incredibly happy. I had sent Sein some photos and a little cloth doll earlier last year and I was delighted to see the doll on her bed and the photos in a picture frame. The above photo is of me with Sein and her adopted mother.
Late afternoon I headed over to Sak's house and spent some time with Theara and Holly. Holly was off school with stomach-ache but perked up when she noticed the 4 tubs of ice-cream I had taken with me! I spent a few hours playing and teaching English and then chilled with an Angkor Beer, chatting to Sak, before having dinner with the whole family. They make me feel so welcome. Sak says that I am part of his family and I am always welcome to their home at any time.