Chambok (Cambodia Home-Stay)July 28, 2011 in Cambodia
Today was the long awaited day of the 'home-stay' in the rural jungle of Cambodia. We awoke for breakfast, before boarding a private bus at about 11am. This was about a three hour drive from Sihanhoukville. We arrived in the mid-afternoon at the village community center. Here we listened to information and took a brief tour from the local guide.
The lifestyle here is basic and quiet. Many monks reside in the area, children run amok and there are chickens and dogs roaming free also.
Dinner was served around 5pm. It consisted of locally prepared cuisine including; potatoes, chicken, steamed vegetables, rice and bananas. Pretty tasty! Certainly better than expected.
The last point of call was to actually head to our home stay for the night. This actually consisted of being broken up into two smaller groups (7 and 6) and actually sleeping in the residences of the locals.
By the time we met our hosts of the evening darkness had already fallen on the jungle. We did have the opportunity to enjoy a couple of hours of 'charades'. The language barrier was prevalent as neither tourist nor local had any idea what the other was saying. We did manage to decipher that they found our height amazing and some basics of their family make-up.
Now down to business.... attempting to sleep. The dwelling we were to retire in was essentially a large shed. There were no glass windows, just barred openings with shutters, which given the humidity were left open. The 'wildlife' was certainly active, with creepy crawlies, lizards, chickens, ducks and cows roaming about. We did have mosquito nets, so once settled in, Nat and I managed to get a couple hours sleep. The challenge was waking during the night to go for the bathroom. I wriggled free from the bed and net, only to find the floor coated in cockroaches and crickets.. three had made a point of lodging in my shoes, in each shoe that is.
Overall, it was a memorable and eye-opening experience that Natalie and I both enjoyed thoroughly (I think). Aside from the lack of sleep and being taken out of our comfort zones, it was a privilege to have such an endearing opportunity that few others would ever know.Read more