We were up a wee bit later than everyone else … no to be honest, absolutely everybody had been up a good long while before like two Sleeping Beauties we arose from our slumbers. In fact we were up so late, that all the kids had long since departed for school. Kamnet came back from a quick trip into town and then herded us onto his transport to take us out for some breakfast. This was once again delicious and consisted of more noodlies in stock with some oddities floating about in it – mmmmm.
After breakfast we returned back to the school and here it was time to learn a bit more of Cambodian cooking, care of Kamnet and his wife. When told, I chipped in with a fair old bit of crushing of ingredients: garlic, lime leaves, chillies, lemongrass, turmeric root and galangal – they did not stand a chance. This mix was then added to the fish sauce. The smells were absolutely amazing and whilst I was doing my bits and bobs, Liz was preparing the leaves and this together with some pork was to be our Hot and Sour Pork soup later on. It had all seemed simple enough but because the ingredients were just so very fresh the results were so much better tasting than any Hot and Sour soup I have ever tasted before.
We had originally envisaged that coming to the homestay we would be left eating very little, however the family were just so generous with the food that we felt like our waists had doubled in size, we had simply eaten so very much. Three meals a day, plus snacks … consisting of fruit, potatoes and sticky rice snacks argh! It is not all good news though as I have not used the toilet for a number two since we arrived here at Kamnets and to be fair something must give soon, I may actually just explode!
In the afternoon before teaching Kamnet encouraged us both to go and have a nap! This was a bit confusing, it made me wonder just how rigorous he thought today’s lesson was going to be that we would actually need to have a sleep beforehand but the intake of so much food had worked its wonders and I was soon out like a light.
It is always a bit difficult when we teach especially as sometimes we could not always tell if we were really needed here but the students seemed to be enjoying it and that made it all worthwhile for me as I was thoroughly enjoy it myself and although I always run over time, no-one seems to moan or care too much. Well, I don’t think they mind anyhow, or if they do ‘mind’ it is in Cambodian and I am afraid the children somewhat have the edge on me there.
Well it had been such a long time since we had last eaten that it came as something of a surprise when we sat round the table at night under the stars once more to eat (NOT … lol). It is sometimes not only the fact that we eat well here but just the shear simplicity of eating under the stars that just adds that final touch of magic to the proceedings. I myself needed a bit of magic to make the mystical ‘turtle’s head’ appear and lo and behold the omens were good as he finally put in an appearance. I am not sure what it is about the squat toilets that cause my bum to ‘shut up shop’ but at long last my ‘bomb doors’ have well and truly opened and hopefully this is a sign of good things to come, maybe I can start to feel a bit more at ease with myself.
The good feelings continued as later at night Kamnet’s wife and the kids came over and in between them doing some impromptu artwork which went up on our ‘art wall’ we also had a bit of a singsong with them. They would sing the few English songs they knew, usually about the alphabet, and the whole experience was just very heart warming. I am glad that back home in England there are the opportunities that our children have to use new technology and the like but whilst they have their gains they also suffer many losses. In time the children of Cambodia will eventually get mobile phones and the like but I do not see how the children of England will regain the ability to enjoy some of the simpler pleasures their Cambodian counterparts take for granted!