So I have neglected this blog for an entire year and I have realized, unfortunately, that I miss adventuring. Now while I am stuck on campus finishing off my senior year, there is no reason for life to be boring! So I have decided to pick up this blog again in honor of my favorite type of adventure--cooking!
I love to cook and talk about food so I hope you feel inspired to try some new recipes! Everything here is vegan, sugar-free and absolutely delicious (I promise).
Oh and please email me any time with your adventures (kitchen related or not)! Email me at KarinaHCosta@gmail.com.

Friday, August 1, 2008

The Last Days...

So the last few days have been extremely interesting, but also slightly heart breaking. I guess to start with my last weekend in Phnom Penh. As you probably know from past entries, the elections were this last Sunday. Now I was very excited for elections and I very much so wanted to go around and see the voting booths, etc. Well...it turns out that not many people are actually registered to vote in the city and that the Prime Minister ordered all the stores to be closed. So not only was the city completely deserted, because everyone went to the provinces to vote, but there was nothing to do or eat. I tried walking around to look for the booths (and food), but no luck. I spent most of the day just hanging out with Boddhi Tree staff and walking around with no direction. Needless to say, I was actually very grateful for the voting period to end so that I could finally eat something. As for the elections themselves, I believe the official decision has not been announced yet because of corruption charges. It is however well known that the CPP took almost everything (single party democracy...?), but some of the other parties are claiming that up to 1 million eligible voters weren't allowed to actually vote. Now the population is currently 13.5 million people, a significant portion of which are children. This means that leaving 1 million voters out is a very significant statistic.
As for the days before the election, I can't remember what I did really, but I know that I did discover Psar Orussey, which is another major market in Phnom Penh. This market however is not at all touristy and actually has all of the bizarre, kitschy Khmer things I have been seeing around. Example: I finally found out where all of the creepy baby posters come from. Don't worry I didn't buy any...yet. I also wrote up and designed a brochure for AFSC Cambodia. which will probably be printed within the next month.
Back in Sre Ambel I mostly did the usual, but one day we did go to Sihanouk ville and a waterfall near there. Now most Cambodians cannot swim, so being in the water with them was very interesting. I had told Tivea once that I used to be on a swim team and nobody believed it. So one of the staff members challenged me to race, and, well, like I said...most Cambodians can't swim. It was an unfair race but seeing all of their absolute shock at my ability to actually swim was priceless. We also played some water games, which I didn't fully understand but just kinnda went along with anyway. The waterfall however was absolutely incredible. It was a shallow waterfall so we could sit right in it and have it massage our backs. Kimnith also shampooed my hair in the waterfall, which was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Yes, there is nothing like showering in a waterfall.
The last night in Sre Ambel was very heartbreaking, but the goodbye dinner was really cute. Everyone came and brought delicious food, so we danced and ate and drank all night. Everyone said a little goodbye to me and then they all gave me some going away presents. In exchange for the presents though I had to promise to come back, which is fine by me. That day I taught them the difference between the simple future tense and the phrase 'going to,' so they made me say, "I am going to come back" and not "I will come back." It was really sweet and made me proud of my students. As I've probably mentioned, I love it hear and cannot wait to return.
Currently I am in Siem Riep and am going to see the temples tomorrow. The bus right was fine enough and now very interesting, except that every house had these giant hay piles (10+ feet tall) that looked like mushrooms. It was really stange. I am ridiculously excited to see Angkor Wat though and I am sure there will be about 2 million photos to sift through. Siem Riep itself is nothing like how I expected. I had been told that is was an annoying, touristy city filled with beggars. For this reason I purposefully picked a guesthouse far from the downtown. When I got off the bus however my tuktuk driver convinced me/decided for me that I should stay downtown. I am very glad he did. My guest house is amazing, with delicious food, free Internet, a cute garden, a pool table, and a short walk to any other restaurant or shop I could want. The downtown is not at all loud or obnoxious and the city itself is pretty small. Maybe the temple area will be really touristy, but so far I have found Siem Riep to be pretty simple and basic.
As far as my usual entries go, I guess this one is pretty short. Sorry, but I really can't bare to write about leaving everyone. I will try to write about the temples a bit tomorrow, or perhaps upload photos from the last few weeks. Well I hope all is well!

2 comments:

momma said...

i can't wait to hear about angkor watt!!! while you are sad to leave everyone in cambodia, your family misses you and can't wait to see you - even if it is only for a brief time before "adventures II: brazil."

gm said...

It sounds like you have a second home in Cambodia. Your friends want you to come back because they know how very special you are, just as everyone here does. We all are very excited to have you back with us for the interim period as you mom describes... before "adventure II: brazil."
I look forward to hearing about Angkor Wat, seeing your photos and most of all, seeing you.