Thursday, 29 November 2012

Still getting stuff done

Food Aid

A huge thanks to Jen from the Goodwill Center for helping continue some of the projects we had set in place in Sihanoukville.  Long time readers may remember we have opened  bank account in Cambodia and put funds in it and given the ATM card to Jen to help with the work.  Last week she was continuing our food project that helps the poorest families survive and send their kids to school.  How does it work ? The parents are so poor that they keep their children at home to help with chores in the small business to help them survive. They need to choose food over education in really extreme cases. We give them the occasional food aid parcel to take the stress off them but only if they allow the kids to attend the Goodwill Center and continue their extra English and Computer classes.

Happy !

Back in Australia

Well, we have been back in Australia for two weeks now. That is taking some getting used to and we are both finding it difficult to adjust in different ways. We plan to catch up with as many locals as we can to say Thank you for their support and give them some thank you gifts. We also plan to keep raising funds to make sure the projects we are involved in can keep going, particularly the support for Romdual School, The Goodwill Center and various small community projects.  Anyone who wants to keep giving, give until it hurts ha ha ! 'cause over there, many do hurt.

For those interested, you can follow our Australian experiences on our small 45 acre property here

Our cottage in the bush, in Australia
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Thursday, 1 November 2012

Leaving Cambodia and Financial update

Leaving Cambodia

Well, we have decided it's time to leave Cambodia temporarily,. We were sorely tempted to stay indefinitely, the place is so wonderful but a few things need sorting out back in Australia.  Its time we gave our friend Steve back his life after he has put it on hold to look after our property. We need to go back to regroup and replace all our stolen equipment (much of it unable to be sourced in Cambodia) so we are heading back.

It's with a very heavy heart that we leave Cambodia. It is a wonderful place and we're not sure how we'll cope with the plethora of laws and restrictions to personal liberties that seem to be enacted on a daily basis back in Australia. The societal diversity, being used to meeting a dozen different ethnicities when walking down the street, was a wonderful experience.  We have also made friends with many Cambodian locals. Mongs Family cooked a wonderful meal and invited us over to say goodbye.

One of the farewell dinners

Romdual School - Friends group saying thanks

Our friend Heack cooking us Khmer pork ribs - TASTY !

Fruit for Desert ! Dragon fruit & Watermelon

Heack, inspired by the Grigg's girls photos using Poi, nearly knocking himself out ! 

Crying, as I explained to the children (khmeng khmeng) at the Goodwill Centre that I was leaving
and where Cambodia is in relation to Australia

Sokhar, an HIV positive orphan wiping tears from my eyes as I explained to him
I was leaving, I will never think I have a hard life again !

Cambodia is currently an ethnic cornucopia of ex-pats. We met people from all over the globe:  Ireland, England, Sweden, Denmark, USA, Canada, Germany, Finland, Ukraine and on and on but we love the Australian bush and our small 50 acre property with it's low environmental impact  and our wonderful small community at Nymboida, so we're looking forward to being back.

We look forward to seeing all our wonderful friends and acquaintances when we get back and thanking them for their support. Currently we plan to be back into Australia on 9th  November.  We hope to raise more money to help the projects we are funding in Cambodia as we now have a reliable network there to ensure the funds are used wisely and a fee free way to disperse the funds.   We are hopeful we can do a couple of local displays on what we have been doing over here, more on that later.