Photo Hunt: Cloudy

Weather forecast is cloudy with a chance of meatballs :)
Ahem, I borrowed this line from a movie title! Have you seen it? My nephew and nieces just loved it.

photo hunt cloudy

Sunset and a dramatic cloud formation over Yeak Lom Lake. Beautiful.

This is my favourite spot in Cambodia’s Ratanakiri province, the Yak Lom Crater Lake, and this is where we took our international volunteers after a week-long medical mission in December last year.

Yak Lom Crater Lake  is a popular tourist destination in the northeastern part of Cambodia, with crystal clear waters, cool temps and a peaceful, verdant scenery. Sunrises and sunsets here are like no other, with shimmering waters accompanied by jungle sounds. This is why I come back here everytime I’m in Ratanakiri. A must-see for visitors.

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Signs, signs: Loom bands craze

As you might have noticed, it has been more than three months since I last posted. I’ve also not been reading blogs – just because I feel so meh. You can also say that I’m trying to find out – like an experiment of sorts – what it is like to be (almost) blog-free. Something like that.

I actually found out that I missed blogging. And reading other bloggers’ posts. So now that I basically have some free time, I can actually return to blogging *crossingmyfingers* and be transported again to other virtual worlds.

So let me come back with a recent anecdote involving my soon-to-be-six-years-old niece, Chappy.

A must-have accessory these days, this I learned from my six-year old niece, Chappy.

A must-have accessory these days, this I learned from my six-year old niece, Chappy.

Two weeks ago, Chappy sent me this cute present – a bracelet made up of tiny rubber bands that she made herself.  I appreciate her interest in handmade stuff and sent a message to her through my sister’s FB to thank her for the lovely rubber band bracelet. Chappy promptly corrected me – this is called a rainbow loom band bracelet, not a rubber band bracelet. I feel so old. These loom bands looked the same as the rubber bands I played with in the 80s. I find nothing fancy with these loom bands but it’s probably just the old me. Apparently, this is the hottest toy in the planet these days!

My sister told me she is so seriously into it that she asked her dad to buy her more loom band kits. She spends a lot of time making bracelets that she told her dad she is starting her “bizniz”. And one morning, everyone at home were surprised to see these signs she made herself and asked Grandpa, my dad, to post on our wall. I think these handmade signs deserve a post for this week’s Signs, signs meme :P

I think these loom bands are great for children for these not  only allow them to be creative but also give them something fun and worthwhile to do (making things) for hours while mums or dads are busy over something. In the Philippines where it is now the rainy season, the loom bands will keep them busy.

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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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