My Tuktuk Diaries: A very rainy, floody night in Phnom Penh

When it rains in Phnom Penh, gosh, there is water everywhere!

Phnom Penh is transformed into a water world and the whole city is thrown into massive traffic chaos.

Here’s a few snapshots that I took tonight as I rode a tuktuk back home. The rain started as soon as I stepped out of our office and became really strong when we were approaching Tuol Kork-Russian Boulevard intersection.

It is 10:49pm now and it hasn’t stopped raining since.

The Kingdom of Wonder is now the Kingdom of Water!

 

 

Ring-a-ling! Wedding bells are ringing.

I’m back.
Finally, I found some time to come up for fresh air and post an update.

My younger brother is getting married in December and I’m really happy for him. I still remember when we were kids waking up in the morning earlier than usual to help him get dressed for school. He was just in kindergarten and I in the sixth grade and now he is an adult and marrying the girl-of-his dreams.

This being a church wedding everyone in our immediate family is expected to go home to attend the ceremony. Knowing my brother, and his girlfriend, the wedding will be a traditional affair. The wedding is set in December and I’m making their invitations. This will be my first time and my Photoshop skills will be put to use, hah.  My credibility will be at stake. Ngak. But I do love the challenge and the opportunity to be able to do something creative with my own hands. So, yeah, bro. No pressure. Your wedding invitation will be awesome!

I do not have any finished mock ups yet  because other wedding details aren’t finalised yet.  I’m playing with the colours and fonts for now. I’m also glad that a friend of mine is helping me out. This will be a perfect opportunity for us to work together as we are planning something out in the coming days. I’ll post the design here as soon as I can.

Meanwhile, when my brother went home last month, I sent several balls of yarn – through him – to my sister  who’s back into crocheting again. She’s currently making granny squares to make a sofa cover {ambisyosa!} and pillow cases.

I found some really nice yarns at the Psah Thmey {Central Market}. They are a bit over-priced compared to the ones available at O’Russei  market, where I usually go, but I was pressed for time that I decided to go to the nearest, i.e., the Central Market. So here are the stuff I got, aren’t the colours pretty?

Several balls of yarn in solid colours.
Mixed-colour yarns for only over a dollar each.
And a double-headed crochet hook, 7mm and 5mm at opposite ends.

Please excuse the dirty fingernails, hahaha.

I’m currently working on some tags in Halloween theme. These tags and cards are hand-stamped and coloured by yours truly. But that’s going to be in another post.

See you next time!

Oh happy days…

Enough of the ranting. Time to move on and forget about this vexation to my spirit.

I’m happy. Oh yes, happy days are here indeed.

Today I will be traveling (again) to Prey Veng province for some fieldwork for four days. Before I leave, here’s some quick notes:

At last, I already have in my possession an important document that was issued by the Philippine embassy. I picked it up last Friday, and was glad to be told that everything is okay. Attached to it was a personal note from Toe. I was delighted. How often do you get personal notes from a busy official like? Thanks, will let you know the date soon.I wanted to see you and tell myself but I thought we would meet on Sunday, anyway, for the…

Independence Day celebration. Although the number of Filipinos who attended decreased, Sunday’s celebration was the same merry event. The Koro Pilipino once again wowed us with their rendition of Lupang Hinirang. Galing. We enjoyed again the Pinoy breakfast that Ate Helen prepared. R and left early as we had to go some place else to find…

a new apartment!!!

And the last, but the happiest of them all, Rafa won the French Open tournament again, three times in a row! I stayed up late last night to watch the match, never mind if I have to leave early today. Need I say more? Here’s the story.

Chul Chhnam Thmey/New Year in Cambodia

Suosdei Chhnam Thmey!
Khmer New Year is here once again, and the celebration lasts for three days. This year, according to my officemate Bora, my constant source of inside information, the New Year starts at 12:40pm of the first day of the New Year celebration (April 14), or the Maha Sangkran. This day, according to Cambodian beliefs, is when new angels come down to earth to replace the old ones in watching over the earth. The second day is called the Vanabot, or the day when Cambodians go to the temples, offer charity and give alms to the poor for merit. The third day is called Leung Sakk, when Cambodians wash images of the Lord Buddha with scented water.

For more of the Khmer New Year traditions, click this link.

Almost all of the population in Phnom Penh have gone home to their provinces, as is the tradition, to be with their loved ones and relatives. As expected, taxi and bus fares hiked up to three times the normal price. Still this didn’t faze travelers as hundreds of taxis and buses packed with excited passengers left Phnom Penh starting Wednesday. I think Filipinos and Cambodians share the same anticipation and excitement, of going home and being with the family for the holidays.

It is a welcome change here in Phnom Penh where the usually busy streets have gone quiet and still. Expats, like us, who have nowhere to go for the holiday enjoy walking about the almost empty streets.

Work officially resumes on Wednesday. With two more days off, R and I are planning to work on our roof-top garden again. The garden was neglected when we moved to Kep and has not been tended to since we returned to Phnom Penh. So now is the time to roll up our sleeves and revive the green and flower garden again.

Babae… Mabuhay Ka!

***

Today we celebrate again the international women’s day in Cambodia. I wasn’t aware of any national activities celebrating this, but in Chambok Commune, Kompong Speu province, a group of local women members of Mlup Baitong’s Gender and Environment Project banded together and celebrated this special day. This project is part of the Community-based Natural Resource Management Program (CBNRM) of Mlup Baitong in Kompong Speu province. Women from the villages participate in education, training, income generation projects, and community organizing. Attention is given to the environmental issues which are particularly important to women such as health and sanitation, firewood collection, improved cookstoves, etc. Women in villages form cooperative groups to manage income generation projects which decrease reliance on unsustainable resource use practices and also participate actively in the activities of CBNRM.

The women also play an important role in environmental advocacy. They are empowered to work as environmental advocates through village activities such as hosting special events (games, theater productions, speeches) to increase environmental awareness in the village. The women are also spearheading the quarterly village clean-ups in the community. There are also women who are now serving as committee members on environmetal village governing committees, particularly Community Forestry and Community-based Ecotourism.

**

Shine on daughter of a thousand dreams,
tend to those dreams with strength and courage.
Shine on woman of thousand hopes,
show everyone the beauty within you.

Jake-zilla in town!!!

No amount of going out and dining out can erase the blues. So I just hang out with Fe-pie and agent Jk. At 8months old, agent Jk is already taking baby steps towards… independence. Above, he’s seen standing on his own with only a few strands of hair for support (ouch, Jk, ouch! wait till your dad’s not watching… *evil smile*)

Taking one step...
... one baby step at a time...
... to pull Ninang-Sreisaat's hair.

Er, do these poses remind you of the Japanese monster… godzilla? Look at those log-sized legs… look at how he roars… arrrggghhh!

I like you more when you were still little… You just smile and my heart would melt. But now? You pull my hair, you shout back at me, scream to my face and kick me as hard as you can… grrrrr! Fe-pie, get you son off of me! hahaha