“BEEP BEEP BEEEEEP” — everyone’s alarm at 4:00 am. With groggy eyes my dear village builders drug themselves out of bed and into a chilly Cambodia morning to go visit Angkor Wat at sunrise. By 4:30 am we departed for the temples. We arrived a bit passed 5:30 am and all took a seat on blankets and towels to watch the sun come up over the largest religious structure in the world. The morning was crisp and clear which made the sunrise absolutely stunning. After about an hour of munching on banana pancakes, fruit and coffee on the front lawn of the temple we headed into the temple for a tour. We learned about the history of Cambodia and Angkor Wat and even got blessed by a Cambodian monk near the center of the temple. We ended the tour of this temple by hiking ridiculously steep stairs all the way to the top — the third level which is the level for the gods.
After Angkor Wat we had the lovely encounter with some wild monkeys! While Amy sat down and fed an old grandpa monkey her cheese puffs, Tova quickly discovered that the youngins wanted absolutely nothing to do with her and absolutely everything to do with her bananas. Fatty Mc fat fat monkeys I tell ya! After we managed to get away from the monkeys we headed off to see two more temples: Bayon Temple and Ta Prohm Temple (or Tomb Raider Temple as many know it!). We spent about an hour walking around each and learned heaps about them. After posing like Lara Croft we left Ta Prohm Temple and head back into town.
The teachers, and two other building volunteers, had different plans today as they all had visited Angkor Wat in the last week. They spent the day at West Barrey lake. There are shake stands and lots of hammocks and tubes that they were able to relax in in the water. Nick brought his guitar and got to spend time teachinging (and learning!) from Sambam (one of our tuktuk drivers). Great bonding experience 🙂
We went for lunch and the volunteers had the afternoon off. Some took a nap while other explored around town a bit.
At 5:30 we all gathered again to take some time for a Khmer language lesson! Domdin spent an hour with all the volunteers learning how to say basic Khmer words that will help us while on the building project and in the classroom. After our lesson we all went for dinner followed by our nightly activities. A whole lot of us went for foot massages and some headed off to go see some live music.
Tomorrow we are back at our building projects and back in the classroom. Super excited to get the ball rolling again!