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Monday, March 26, 2012

Day 4 of Technical Exchange - Kampong Cham (Lindsay's Site)

So, as you read earlier, I got back to the hotel at about 11:15p and typed up all of those blog posts until about 1:30a when I got to bed. Today started at 6:00a, so my alarm was set for 5:30a. There was not a lot of sleep involved. There actually hasn't been much sleep involved this whole time, but that means I'm working hard, right? So, where was today's trek? I very large district town about 100k away from the town, fairly close to the Vietnamese border.

We met Lindsay at a grocery store in her town. That's right, I just said, "...grocery store..." She put her bike in the back of the truck, and we went from there. The first shot we did was of a "happy family with smiling kids". It was a pretty good photo shoot, and I had a fun time helping make the family laugh to get those great teeth to show. You know, in this country, there are a lot of not so pretty smiles, but we just happened to be lucky coming across some great ones this past week. After this shot and some unsuccessful attempts at a couple of others, we dropped Lindsay off at her house and chatted with her family, who gave us iced coffees that were probably 80% condensed milk. Saying that they were sweet would be an understatement (her family has a coffee grinder in the back, by the way. Lindsay has said it is both a curse and a blessing; it's loud in the morning but it often smells fantastic). We chatted with Lindsay's family for a little while as she's headed back to America soon to begin her Masters/PhD in Theater; she's pretty awesome. After we left, we went and got some images of women in different professions including a manicurist and a seamstress. Both of them turned out great! We then got a few more happy family/sad family pictures before picking Lindsay up again.

The next part of the trek was a 2 hour "adventure" (according to Bunsak) through random parts of Lindsay's district she hadn't explored yet, which was cool to be with her for that. The families we met up with were very nice. I think I remember one woman saying no to taking her picture (this happened a few times). Afterwards, we dropped Lindsay off and headed back on the 2 hours drive to Kampong Cham. We intended to stop at the rubber tree plantation to get some more shots but passed out before we even reached the factory and were in and out of sleep for most of the ride.

Tonight, I met up with Kellie to get dinner at Lazy Mekong Daze where we got ice cold Sprites, coconut shakes and giant pizza baguettes (SO GOOD!) and chatted away until about 8:30p when we headed over to the MSF (Médecins Sans Frontières, or Doctors Without Borders) house, which was a 3 minute walk from the hotel I've been staying at, and watched The Artist on the top of their three-story house. Giant white cloth, projector, pillows, a beautiful breeze and (the best part) pretzels made by a German volunteer with one bowl of mustard and another of honey to dip it in. Amazing! It was a great night. We got to bed around 1:30a (again), and this time I had to be up at 6:00 (better, right?). Needless to say, it wasn't difficult to fall asleep.

Talk to you soon,

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