Spent today painting (we take it in turns to teach) and playing even more football and this afternoon Laura and I went shopping in the Central Market in Siem Reap to buy a few more toys for the school. There has recently been a problem at the school with items going missing, but the Vice-Principal knows that it's not the children stealing. So we decided that it was unfair that the children should suffer as a result, so we bought a few balls, skipping ropes, etc.
Late afternoon I headed out to the airport to get a visa extension (which costs $45, even though a one month visa on arrival in the country only costs $20), only to find that you couldn't do it there afterall (I had been told by a reliable source that you could). I rang Sokvann from the airport in a bit of a mood and he was so apologetic that I couldn't stay moody for long! He too had been told by a reliable source etc. So back in town I went to the Cambodia Angkor World Tour Agency where (with some reluctance but there's nothing I can do about it) I had to leave my passport with them. My passport has to be sent to the Immigration Office in Phnom Penh and will be back on the 12th (fingers crossed!). So if none of you see me again you know why . . . British Immigration won't let me back in! My visa doesn't run out until the 25th January, but I will still be in Battambang on that date and there's nowhere there to extend it.
While Laura and I were sitting outside the Blue Pumpkin having a drink this afternoon, we spotted one of the tuk-tuk driver across the street, who we both agreed had real initiative (see pictures in Siem Reap album). Anyone who's been to the Far East will no doubt agree that tuk-tuk drivers are incredibly annoying to say the least, but this guy had such an amusing PR campaign that he won our business and ended up taking us to the agency to renew my visa. He had spotted me taking a photo him and crossed the street so that we could read the other side of the board!
After a couple of late nights in a row, I'm having an early one tonight. I've just had a bite to eat at the Blue Pumpkin and am now off 'home' before another 6am start tomorrow.
PS. The above photo was taken as part of an idea I've implemented at the school, whereby a photo of each volunteer (together with name, age & dates spent at the school) is stuck on the English classroom wall next to a map of the world, with a piece of string running from the photo to the country the volunteer is from. Thought you might like to see the photo taken of me . . . . and check out my suntan! ;0)