Sorry I was away…

… and this is what I’ve been doing while I was gone from blogging.

Operation Smile Cambodia. Giving new smiles. Changing lives of Cambodian children. My apologies to the owner of this photo - I just nicked this from the slide presentation shown during the closing dinner. If you know him, or, if it's YOU, let me know so I can give a proper attribution.

Operation Smile Cambodia. Giving new smiles. Changing lives of Cambodian children. My apologies to the owner of this photo – I just nicked this from the slide presentation shown during the closing dinner. If you know him, or, if it’s YOU, let me know so I can give a proper attribution.

Preparing for Operation Smile Cambodia’s international mission and the official opening of the Smile Center. It’s no easy work, I tell you that. However, seeing 109 kids receiving free reconstructive surgery and spending my birthday with them is just another reason to celebrate. I am very proud to be associated with OpSmile Cambodia’s work.  Thank you for the opportunity of a lifetime.

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Wordless Wednesday: Dvarapala

Guardian of the temple. One of the many surrounding a Buddhist wat.

Guardian of the temple. One of the many surrounding a Buddhist wat.

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Signs, signs: Ferry

Here’s another post, recalling some moments associated with the signs that I took a photo of during my Laos trip.

After crossing the Laos border and finishing immigration formalities at noontime, we were picked up by a van along with many other backpackers. The van traversed a smooth highway that didn’t seem to end and with hardly a traffic at that time of the day. The view was pretty much the same as the Cambodian countryside and the weather equally as hot as a sunny day in Cambodia.

An hour or so later, after passing through several villages and Wat Phu signs, we were deposited at a pier (the name escapes me now). A lot of those who were with us in the van were going to Don Det, a small island sitting in the middle of the Laos side of the Mekong River, while my husband and I had to wait for another van that would take us to Pakse.

Don Det island

Khmer Iggy was tempted to take the ferry to Don Det in Laos but it wasn’t part of our itinerary.

Don Det, I found out, is one of the bigger islands of Si Phan Don (meaning 4,000 islands) measuring about four kilometers long and is a backpacker’s haven.

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Signs, signs: A bus story

After so many years, I found the SD card that contained most of my travel pictures. Happy head now that I’m reunited with my Laos pictures, some five years later!

This photo below was taken in one of the road trips my husband and I did some years ago. Of course, my travelling doll, Khmer Iggy, was with me during that trip. Khmer Iggy finds the buses in Laos delightfully colourful, except for a few that are -ahem- gaudily decorated. You can find more of Khmer Iggy and her other sisters’ travels around the world here – Postcards from Miss Igorota.

Khmer Iggy posing in front of the overnight tourist bus that took us to Vientiane.

Khmer Iggy posing in front of the overnight tourist bus that took us to Vientiane.

The sign on the side of the bus says “Vientiane, Pakse”.
Paksé is a city in Champasak district of Laos and is the halfway-point to Vientiane, the capital, when entering Laos via one of the border crossing in Cambodia’s Stung Treng province. It is also one of the most-visited cities in Laos due to its popular attractions of Wat Phu (an ancient Khmer temple ruins) and Si Phan Don (popularly known as the 4,000islands, much similar to the Philippines’ Hundred Islands).

In other news, public buses begin test run yesterday in an effort by the government to ease traffic jams in Phnom Penh.

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Wordless Wednesday: It all began with a ride

Meet Bianca... Bianca Jaguar!

Meet Bianca… Bianca the Jaguar!

Someday, when the time is right, I will tell you a story like no other.
A story that is true, as true as the sun rising in the east. A story that began with a ride…

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Signs, signs: Friendship Mission

Errrrmm… hello, blog!

It’s been awhile, isn’t it? More than a month.

Aside from a personal issue, I also concentrated on work, preparing for the friendship mission between Cambodia and Singapore.

Signs Operation Smile Cambodia-Singapore Friendship Mission

So no blogs, no tweets, and no Facebook. I swear that after the personal issue has been resolved and that the last mission volunteer has left the country, I think that I shall never go back to my online activities again. But I imagine how much heartbreak it will cause to all my two avid readers, so …

I am back yet again.
Before I see any of you rolling your eyes… I know, I know… I’ve been saying this over and over but, hey, at least I’m not giving up entirely.

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Signs, signs: Deja brew

Earlier today I was scrambling to finish a report that had been put aside for many weeks now but – the heck – I just couldn’t finish it. I was mad at myself. The longer I stared at the monitor, the Bs and the Os started looking rather voluptuous and moving in rhythmical, slo-mo manner.

Before this optical illusion consumed me, I was jolted back to reality when one of Monmon’s minions* brought in a cup of Vietnamese espresso. The strong aroma awakened me from my morning echos-moment and got me craving for a cuppa,too. I don’t know why the sudden craving. The longer I look at Monmon’s coffee-cup filled with black liquid, the more sinister it got as if it was willing me to do something.

In my head I could almost here a voice crying – duuuude, where’s my bleeping coffee?

But I digress.
I didn’t get my coffee-fix. I got my Signs photo instead. But it’s still related to my rambling. Did you know that Cambodia’s café culture is booming?

Deja brew -

Deja brew: the feeling that you had this coffee before.

Love the sign! Very clever name for a coffee shop. If not for the ugly cable wires, I could’ve gotten a better shot.

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* Aliases are used to protect my identity,lol.

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Signs, signs: DON’T TOUCH

Seen at a popular tattoo parlour in Phnom Penh.

Don't touch boobies.

No touch.

Keep your hands to yourself at all times. A friendly reminder from the tattoo artists.

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