During the orientation days I have been mainly busy visiting places and getting to know the country better. The best of it was visiting the temples and mainly ” the Ankgor Wat” which is the seventh world wonder. I left at 5a.m to see the sun rising from behind the temples. I am sure you can imagine how magnificent it was. After seeing the sunrisen I was picked up by my inspiring tour guide to explore the Angkor temples for the next 8 hours. The temples in Ankgor were extremely beautiful. Each one of them had a different style and architecture. They are mainly Buddhist but Angkor Wat which one the biggest, was a Hindu one. In its time it has been one the greatest religious locations in the world. The remaining of Angkor temples were discovered by a French tourist who found those magnificent temples accidentally on his way.
While we were visiting the temples and Phrem( my tour guide) was explaining about the history and background of each temple, we took a break and sat on a bench. We had a chat about the body position when meditating. Then he started telling me more about his life. That math and English have always been his favorite subjects at school. I will write his story as he told me.
” math and English were my favorite subjects. I walked to and back from school for 11 years because we didn’t have money for other means of transport. After that I couldn’t go to university as my mom told me that she can’t afford paying for my education anymore. So I had to start working since then… Look at my hands, I am from a poor family who always worked hard. I had a chance to go to training courses for two year to eventually become an English teacher. They called me and offered me the course as they knew I liked it very much and my English was good. But to do that I had to move to another city and rent a room but I didn’t have money for that and I had to reject it. They called me again and said that its really something for you but I just couldn’t. How could I rent a room and still manage to eat with no money!!
I became a tour guide and I love my job. It’s hard work but I enjoy it, I can meet people and talked to them and learn from them. But because of work my knees are not good anymore and I can’t walk good. Even if I love my job, I can go one for 2-3 years with these knees if I am lucky. It’s well paid but heavy, that’s why in the temples I explain things and then I let you go explore inside of them alone and I wait for you outside. I can’t walk the whole day with you. Working hard I got married and managed to pay all the costs if my marriage on my own. I also bought a house. I gave every money I had but at least I have a house in which I live with my wife and daughter. I have pigs at home which in the future will be considered as money for me. I also plant rice for my family consumption. During all these years I failed like 100 times in business, having to stop my favorite sport- volleyball- because of my knees,opportunity to have a job as a teacher…. I failed but I never cried. I always had hope and tried to learn from my failures. I believe the hill of success is not easy to climb and you really have to put a lot of effort to get to the top. Reaching the top of the hill is very difficult but coming down from it is very easy. Succeed and happiness doesn’t fall from the sky for you. Never lose hope. Now the whole goal of my life is supporting my daughter in studying, I want her to go to the university and have the things she likes to have ( education). I want to give her the thing and I liked to have but I couldn’t. ”
His hope, mentality and joy of life realLy touched me. People here I Cambodia might not be rich and having the newest technology but at least they are happy and enjoy the things they have.
I asked him if I could write about him and he really welcomed it. At the end of the tour into,d him that out short chat was much even better that visiting all those temples.
I really hope I can learn a lot from this people at the end of of trip.
I started today with a soar throat and tired of confused sleeping cycle. But anyways, today I started my first orientatoin day with Annemarie(with only the two of us as I am the only volunteers who arrived in march).
After a long conversation the second phase of today was visiting the city on a tuk-tuk.
As in the pictures, Siem reap is a small city where you can easily see both rich and poor side of it. Of course from the rich part, there are no pictures but I guess it’s quite imaginable how a rich neighborhood looks like. I visited two big markets and a photo galley. In the market, on the food section they were selling fish with a very disgusting smell. When I asked the reason, my Cambodian guide told me that they add a lot of salt to the fish to keep it for a long time and that was the reason of the bad smell. Nice to know
We also quickly passed by temples but my camera acted weird, so no pictures.
The last part of the first orientation day was eating at a “all you can eat” restaurant and watching a traditional Cambodian poppet show. Even if it might be nicer to eat that with a bigger group, it was still nice.
And the great news is that I am going to Angkor Wat tomorrow to visit one of the world’s wonders ” the temples”. I will have a private tour as I am the only volunteer in march. I will leave very early in the morning to the the sunrise there. I am very enthusiastic and will definitely put a post about it.
In a couple of hours, the Persian new year will arrive. This is the first time that I don’t have ” haft sin” and not really celebrating it. But the experience I will be gaining here is worth it I suppose. In the last 3 months big changes have happened in my life and the last one was coming to this great country for a very special experience. I believe that these changes can pave the way to start a very unique and beautiful year.
I wish that all my loved ones will have the same. ( not only family, good friends but also just friends or just acquaintances). I wish all the Iranians (Persians) and non-Iranians who celebrate a very happy new year. May this year brings you health, success, happiness, wealth and a lot of peace.
Having jet lag, I was awake during the night and went to sleep at 8 in the morning. Today I explored the surroundings abit thanks to my mates Femke and Christie. I went to the supermarket and the big market. One very interesting thing I saw was the cinema here. The cinema is not like the ones you might know. You choose a movie, then it will be shown for you privately in a room. Interesting huh?
The market is big, very busy and very humid. You can basically find everything in it. But, you should be aware of being overcharged;)
What might be like a heaven is eating a cold sweet watermelon :d, so I bought one from the market and can’t wait till its cold.
It’s already dark here and we are sitting in the tv room watching the pirates of Caribbean 3. Tomorrow I have another free day and probably will go to the market to take my time and explore there. On Thursday my introduction days start and from next week Tuesday, I will start working.
After a very long flight via Bangkok, finally arrived in Siem reap international airport. But at the passport control, there was a problem. It turned out that Iran was on black list in Cambodia. So I was taken to the immigration department to answer non-ending questions. even if I had a business visa, they wanted to have some original papers from the related organization in here. Later on I realiased that they even wanted to send me back in an hour if the documents wouldn’t arrive. So, eventually after waiting for ever the papers arrived and I could get out. On the way to the volunteers house I found the city very busy, very humid but green and beautiful. The volunteers house is also nice and cozy. All the other volunteers are nice, sweet and young here.
In this blogs I will be writing about my volunteer job experience in Cambodia. I will stay here for 3 months in Siam reap.