A Travellerspoint blog

The Amazing Race

sorry no pics at the moment trouble uploading :(

The Amazing PePY Race

What to do on Easter Sunday in a Buddhist country??? Amazingly enough I found tiny easer eggs in Ankgor Supermarket and yes they tasted as bad as Easter egg chocolate in Australia (not a fan except for the new Malteser Bunny mmmmm) and then I found an Aussie making hot cross buns so one dozen were ordered for pick up straight out of the oven!

We (Liz, Sarah, Paloma and I) decided we would join in The Amazing PePY Race. PePY is a NGO in Siem Reap (http://pepyride.org/) and had organised the race to raise money for their cause. Obviously being a race AND Easter Sunday we decided that we must dress up (and we thought everybody else would think the same!) My job was to get the tinsel, Liz to get the hats and others to dress in their colour!!!

2pm we meet downstairs in the hostel. A G&T with fresh hot cross buns and butter and Easter eggs and the ladies had their Easter afternoon tea! The staff at the hostel also got to share in the chocolate and hot cross buns and they thoroughly enjoyed their western experience, especially when I left the remaining eggs with them!

Off we ride to the Royal Gardens to meet our competitors. First challenge – where to park our bikes – no not there; no not on the grass; no you cannot bring them into the park; no not on this side of the road …….. We walk into the park to greet the others – is anyone else dressed up – No but our efforts were appreciated!!!! Team name: Esme and the ladies!!!! We see that others are going by moto or by tuk tuk BUT no not us! We will ride!!!!

The clues are handed to us and we are off!!!! We figure out a few and head towards our first location – the Butterfly restaurant where the clue is to find 3 animals that are near the water but can’t move to drink it! Now we (or I) thought we were clever and came up with the answers: buffalo grass, spider orchid and bird of paradise!!! It wasn’t that difficult and we were supposed to be looking by the river!!! Oh well points for originality!

Another challenge was the game that many locals play here – basically it is a feather with a rubber stopper on the end and you kick it around like a hacky sack. We need to get 6 continuous kicks – we gave up!!!!! And I am please to say it was not just me that was challenged by this game.

We also had to make up sentences from the page number; paragraph and word number in a sentence from a book; complete an indoor rock climb, eat a cricket and play charades. The charades was hilarious as 1. Paloma didn’t understand the English word and so made sound effects for her word monkey and 2. Liz got Battambang (pronounced Battambong; a town about 2 hours away from Siem Reap) – being an Aussie the bat was her miming playing cricket and the bong was well you know!!!! We were the first to come up with it and I got it straight away!!! Hilarious.

We rode far and wide around Siem Reap – yelling out Happy Easter or Happy New Year (Khmer NY was beginning that week) and getting lots of smiles. At the end of the race we all gathered for a drink and to find out the results. We won a prize for dressing up (it was worth it!) and a girl who none of us had met before commented on how great we looked and the fact that for most of the race she didn’t see us but could hear us!!!!!!

The night ended with one of our favourite meals at Rosy’s – baked spud with a choice of toppings and salad with a juice slushy mmmmmm. We were supposed to continue on and watch friends perform fire twirling but as the dinner progressed you could see us sinking into our chairs and not wanting to come back out!

Posted by Arkgecko 10:18 Comments (1)

Lady Bingo Pics as promised

Lady Boy Bingo at Siem Reap Hostel raised $49 for GG DSC01349

Lady Boy Bingo at Siem Reap Hostel raised $49 for GG DSC01349

Lady Boy Bingo at Siem Reap Hostel raised $49 for GG DSC01343

Lady Boy Bingo at Siem Reap Hostel raised $49 for GG DSC01343

Lady Boy Bingo at Siem Reap Hostel raised $49 for GG DSC01341

Lady Boy Bingo at Siem Reap Hostel raised $49 for GG DSC01341

Posted by Arkgecko 01:49 Comments (1)

Hula hooping

Hula Hooping

5 weeks ago a pink haired, bejeweled and glitterfied Aussie turned up at Green Gecko. Jewlz was going to be teaching us all hula hooping and create a performance that was to surprise Tania and Rem and show off their newly learnt skills.

The GG kids were absolutely amazing – I have never seen kids pick up new skills as quick as what they do. Even Jewlz was surprised and knew she had to up the anti after the first lessons. Every trick was learnt with ease, whether it was hand hooping, body hooping, leg hooping AND I couldn’t even do the basic hula hooping – though I did manage to get some of the hand hooping skills and tricks. Some of the GG kids thought it was hilarious that I could not hoop and loved pretending to hoop every time I walked past – they def. have a bit of an Aussie sense of humour thanks to Tania.

After weeks of rehearsals the day came for the final performance. The kids were soooooo excited and had spent the last 2 days making their costumes, taping hoops and practicing their skills. Final rehearsal was mayhem as it was the first time that all the students had performed together and it was a HOT day. In true GG spirit there was little whinging and they just got on with it.

1 hour before the performance it was time to get the costumes and makeup on. The girls had created their own style with their t-shirts and some were very impressive – maybe some future fashion designers in the making??? Make up consisted of being bejeweled and glitterfied. Looking amazing the kids were getting soooo excited and I was feeling very proud of their efforts and knew that it was going to be a great performance. I was so looking forward to Tania and Rem’s reaction, as they had not seen any of the rehearsals as the kids wanted to surprise them. Tania had invited another NGO to the performance and of course the families of GG so there was lots of excitement in the air!

The performance was amazing. Tears sprung to my eyes as I was so prpud of what they had achieved. The smiles on their faces were big enough to brighten anyone’s day and to see the reaction from the audience and how proud they were of them too was fantastic. Hopefully you will be able to feel the excitement and happiness from some of my photos.

After the hooping performance, the band played their 3 songs – another moment to be proud! Through the wonderful donations of others GG have a drum kit and a couple of keyboards and guitars. Every Friday the echoes of their tunes come through the air from the Outreach Centre as the routinely practice the same 3 songs over and over again. But to see them perform live in front of those who they love again brought tears to my eyes. Some of the parents were standing so proudly behind their son/daughter whilst they played. One of the parents, Douk, whose daughter does not play in the band, was just as proud as any other parent there. I bumped into him the next day and you could still see how proud he was – he is an amazing man. Douk lost both arms through a land mine and struggled to find work. Through GG he has established a micro business selling books – I think I may become one of his best customers! But I am straying!

The NGO that was invited to come presented GG with a lovely thank you card. One of our girls was ‘MCing’ the night and kept talking about doing things for together for Cambodia. I was thinking how gorgeous is that. KS keeps talking about doing things for their country – very patriotic and touching ……… the next day I discovered that “Together for Cambodia” was actually the name of the NGO that GG had invited. Ooops.

The night was also to be Paloma’s last night with all of the GG kids as it was coming up to Khmer NY and many of the GG kids go home for the holidays. What a last night to have! Dancing, singing, celebrating and sharing love. The littlies got together and did a little thank you song - oh it is going to be hard to leave!!!!

Once again I celebrated another moment of amazingness with the GG kids and staff. I am so blessed to be here sharing these special times with them. It really shows you that all kids need is time, love and encouragement (and the adults need $$ to keep doing it SO DONATE!!!)
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Posted by Arkgecko 01:38 Comments (1)

Warm and Fuzzy

Feeling all warm and fuzzy coz I just had a 2 hour Skype chat with some of my best buddies xxxxxxxx

Posted by Arkgecko 05:19 Comments (1)

Bride for a day!

Khmer style!

sunny

Khmer Bride Day

In Cambodia a bride does not have just one outfit on one day. The wedding ceremony can go for days and of course one must have various outfits to match each ceremony, each with different jewelry and hairstyle. To be able to afford such luxuries, Cambodian families must save long and hard and that is only to ‘rent’ the dresses! The photo album is a big part of the wedding celebrations and a few weeks ago I got to see Sokay’s wedding album (from the wedding that I went to). Of course I made all the appropriate noises of ooohs and aaaaahs as I looked at the photos – they are very different to what we wish for in the Western world. There are photos that are taken at the actual wedding and then there are the photos that are taken in the studio, photo shopped and backgrounds added! What do barangs do whilst living in Siem Reap??? Let’s get dressed up as a Khmer bride too!!!! Funnily enough it was April Fool’s Day too on the day we decided to maybe look like fools!!! Off we ride towards the big Fuji photo shop, up the stairs to a room that is full of dresses, wigs, bling and anything else a Khmer bride may desire.

Paloma was the first to start getting the beauty treatment. Out comes a razor blade and I um and ahh and Liz just yells out say yes to everything. The razor starts to trim Paloma’s eyebrow and I say “What even having your eyebrows shaved??” “Stop” yells Liz. Paloma is currently walking around with one eyebrow semi shaped!!!!!!

Our drag queen look begins with foundation to make as white as possible but we are already lucky here as we are barangs! Eye shadow, eyeliner, liberal amounts of blush and lipstick/gloss. To make sure we are definitely drag queenish the fake eyelashes come on too.

Now we must choose our dresses. Liz goes for a tin foil look (like she has just come off the windscreen of a car!). Sarah chooses something that is nothing like she would ever wear – a lovely red number! Paloma steals my purple idea but that’s ok as I end up in a beautiful Flinders blue number. Clem goes for a completely non-Khmer bride outfit, looking like a beautiful fairy and Nat looks very regal in her royal blue outfit. You have to remember that Cambodian women are tiny! When I see Liz’s dress go on and they have to put a piece of material in the back as it wont close I begin to panic!!! (Actually I was already panicking before this so I was REALLY panicking!) Liz is tiny! The first dress I choose is pulled down and as I look at the cups for the boobs I burst out laughing – there is NO way my boobs are going into that! And so begins the standard awe and wonderment from the Cambodian women at my ‘tom tom’ body. Being resourceful the staff come up with the only outfit that would probably fit and so my regal Flinders Queen look was created.

Next was hair and bling. To add to my embarrassing ‘tom tom’ debacle the staff find jai in my hair. But unlike Western countries where disgust and panic would have ensued it was my like “Oh you have jai”; pick it out and move on! Crimping is a big style in Cambodia so most of were blessed with some form of crimping done. Hairpieces were added, pinned and final adjustments before the onslaught of bling.

The actual photo shoot was hilarious and the photographer was quite amused by us!!! After the standard serious photos (because a Khmer bride is serious!!!) Liz managed to find some props and off we went with umbrellas, swords and of course a violin!

Another day of amazing Khmer experiences.
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Posted by Arkgecko 19:34 Archived in Cambodia Comments (1)

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