Travel stories from AIM’s Julie Harrold and Vanda Borders visiting our projects in Cambodia!
DAY 6 | Our Undercover Work : From Jules
Jules here! I know you’ve been waiting to find out what our special assignment was…we were doing recon work at hostess bars. Hostess Bars are regular bars where young women can be purchased to sit with you and if you want to purchase her for the evening you can pay $10 to take her.
It was crazy to see these young women who don’t want to be there. They have dreams, want to open restaurants, like to sing and dance. Working at a hostess bar is not the dream of any young woman. There were 3 sisters working at the bar we were at. Is this what we dream for our daughters? No. How can anyone say this is there choice. These young women are so ready to leave and ready for a life of freedom and hope.
First Tuk Tuk ride of trip equals new fragrance called “Cambodia Car Exhaust”…why take a shower in the morning?! In between car exhaust clouds we could get a wisp of the sweet smell of Plumeria that line the main streets in Phnom Penh. We met with Kelly Evan’s, Director of ARC and also met with Jen, Becki, Kimberly and Rachel of Rahab’s House School. Praise God for our long term volunteers…they are amazing.
This morning we leave for Siem Reap, we will give Clay and Emily a big hug and hello for you!
Day 7 | Memorial for a Stolen Coconut : From Vanda
SAUSDEY! SOOKSABAI? Hello, How are you?
Jules and I have experienced a whirlwind of events & Cambodian culture over the past 6 nights!
On Sunday we took the 6 hr bus ride from Phnom Pehn to Siem Reap. During that time I enjoyed several hours of conversation with the Cambodian man across the aisle. He gave his survival story from Pol Pot, the struggles of his people and great general cultural insights and perspectives. He even helped with learning a few Khmer words.
Once we arrived Clay took us to our housing. Jules & I got to be house mates with the Hafeman’s who are AIM Volunteers teaching English. Mimi & Jim were awesome to us! Jim was willing to trek around the markets with 3 women looking at EVERYTHING and then he took us all to get a foot massage…while we sat melting into chairs, we laughed while our new friends were trying to learn English and we learned how to count to 10 in Khmer…note in future…language retention not good with foot massage!
A highlight was Clay & Emily taking us out to Angkor Wat temple. We drank fresh coconut milk and Clay reinacted in Cambodian his True Story of the Monkey stealing his coconut…yes, the man is still bitter over the loss of fresh spilled coconut milk…but the local women seemed to have a great laugh.
Side note: favorite road side food…
Rice,coconut milk and a few beans cooked in bamboo…peal away the bamboo and enjoy! Pure sticky deliciousness!!!
We did get just a glimpse of a work day for Clay & Em. IE: Called to health clinic on their “day off” to check on a girl, change in plans because of an opportunity to speak with a girl who had missed work…they are a dynamic duo…So thankful and blessed to be on their AIM Team!
While in Cambodia we have experienced exotic sweet floral and spicy smells…but nothing quite awakens the olfactory senses quite like the pungent oder of Garbage Juices and Dog Poop hitting you with the breeze.
Prea pra tiempo…God Bless you!
Aakun chreun, Vanda & Jules
P.S not sure of Cambodia spelling.