I just want to share these photos for this week’s Photo Hunt before going to bed.
First is of my dog, Red. I caught him sleeping soundly again, with his head resting on the front wheel of yobo’s bicycle, oblivious to the hustle and bustle around him.
He is already nine months old and is a carbon copy of his father, Joe. I sometimes mistake him as Joe. Red can be demanding at times – demanding a scratch, demanding play but he also knows what NO means. I hope he won’t have any serious illness just like what Max and Joe had when they were puppies. Veterinary treatment and care in Cambodia is expensive and antibiotics like posatex otic are not readily available. Keeping a pet (in our case, pets) is a big responsibility and we want to provide our dogs the best care and happy environment as much as we can.
The second is a photo of motorbikes. Yobo (da husband) and I went window-shopping for motobikes along Sihanouk Boulevard. There were so many – new ones, secondhand ones. Big bikes, small bikes; big wheels, small wheels. Name it, you’ll find it there. Not a fan of motorbikes myself but my husband is.
One of the fascinating provinces I visited in Cambodia is Ratanakiri. It is home to indigenous hill tribes in Cambodia. One of the hill tribes that I find interesting is the Kroeung tribe. This group has one of the unique traditions that are still practiced up to this day.
One of these is involving teenage boys and girls. When Kroeung teenagers reach a certain age, they build the so-called bachelor or bachelorette houses, such as the ones you see below.
These bachelor and bachelorette houses are temporary shelters for teenaged Kroeung boys and girls looking for potential mates. It may seem controversial to some but this is a tradition that has been passed on from generation to generation. Once they’ve found their mates, these houses are then destroyed. More about this here.
In this week’s Photo Hunt I am reminiscing the time I traveled to Sri Lanka back in 2002. It was work-related but I had this good intention of mixing business and pleasure, so to speak. After the conference ended, I met up with my Sri Lankan friend for a week-long road trip!
One of the most memorable stops we had was a popular tourist attraction in Dambulla.
Rising about 200ms up the amazing green plains of central Sri Lanka is the gigantic, flat-topped rock called Sigiriya. Once a stronghold of Sri Lanka’s rogue King, its extraordinary beauty and historical and cultural significance have made it today a World Heritage Site. Very much like Cambodia’s Angkor Wat, it is the source of national pride of Sri Lankans.
Lonely Planet says it is not only one of the most impressive geological formations in the island-country of Sri Lanka, but also one of its greatest archaeological legacies. You can find more info here.
Unfortunately, as I have a bad case of vertigo, I did not dare climb up to the top 🙁 Instead, I took pleasure in exploring the royal gardens and lakes at the base of the rock as well as several ancient temple ruins. To this day, I regret not trying. And who wouldn’t be? The thousand-year old (perhaps older!) ceiling frescoes are out of this world and well preserved as if they were just done recently and the view from the top – breath-taking! If given another chance to make another trip – I’d surely re-visit Sigiriya and re-claim what I had missed!
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.
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.
My entry might be a bit different from what other participants have this week. This “glass” represents the darkest moments in Cambodian history.
The photo below shows the glass panels of the memorial stupa inside the Choueng Ek Genocide Centre. It contains thousands of human skulls and bones, belonging to the victims of the Khmer Rouge, arranged by age and sex.
I have written about this before, also a part of the Photo Hunt entry. You can find the post here to understand more about this glass of horror.
These are the hard-working carabaos, aka, water buffaloes, lazing in the muddy part of a ricefield in rural Cambodia. They are endemic to Southeast Asia.
Funny how I used “hard-working” and “laz(y)ing” in one sentence. I guess when they’re not at work or when they’re done with their work, they deserve to laze around and enjoy a mud spa of sorts 😉
These beasts are a farmer’s bestfriend, especially in the Philippines. Here in Cambodia, farmers use cows more than carabaos, but I digress.
They are very useful in the farm, ploughing the fields. Farmers rely on the carabao’s slow but hard work to get the job of ploughing the fields done. Not only that, carabaos are also used as modes of transportation (riding on their backs or pulling carts laden with people and stuff). Carabao milk is also highly-sought to make cheese (kesong puti), yummy sweets and desserts.
When my pet Joe, aka, Negro Bandido (the Black Bandit) was a puppy, he followed me everywhere I go. I think he is more attached to me than my husband because I stayed home more often than he did when we had Joe.
While getting acquainted with being a stay-at-home Sreisaat, I was lucky enough to snag a few consultancy work that didn’t require me to be at the office all the time. So, that meant less time playing with Joe as I had to “work” on some days. No problem. Joe found a quiet and convenient spot to be near me the whole time.
And during rare times he was not there, I knew exactly where to find him – to his second favourite spot.
… under the small side table that I used where I was working on my laptop. This was also his favourite place to play hide and seek with me and my husband, especially when he saw us toting the camera. He was camery-shy and didn’t want to be seen by us. Quietly hiding under this table with only his cute paws on display, he probably thought he was invisible, lol.
Some years ago, I participated in an advocacy training by a well-known international advocacy group. In the first ice-breaker session of the training, we were asked to describe ourselves in one word using our first name initials. It was an easy task for most, but for me, it was challenging. Having a name that starts with letter “Z” didn’t give me a lot of choices. I settled for Zooming Z and argued I could be forgiven for I could not find any adjectives describing me in this letter. I was forgiven, needless to day, lol.
This week though I’m using it here as it perfectly suits the theme. So here, I’m Zooming home!
Home is – for more than a decade now – Phnom Penh.
From the plane, I was struck by the chocolate-coloured landscape. It looked like a giant puzzle from above. It was beautiful! And if you’d look closer, to the lower left-hand side of the picture, you will see the shadow of the airplane I was on. Awesome! I’m just amazed at how my trusty old point-and-shoot digicam could capture 🙂
Now back to Photo-hunting this week…
I’m afraid I’m stretching the theme a bit to fit my entry. Friends… ta-da!
That’s my favourite pair of shoes… red Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars. This pair of shoes have been with me for nearly eight years now. They look a tad dirty because I’ve worn them practically everywhere inside Cambodia and other countries I’ve been to. The photo above was taken in one of the rural villages in Cambodia, on our way to validate research results.
I’ve been wearing Converse shoes since I set foot in the university. I wore them everyday and night that I was in uni – no washing needed – till they’ve worn out and basically falling apart. And people, please don’t look down on people who wear their Chucks dirty. THEY’RE MEANT TO GET DIRTY.
Currently, I own two pairs. One, that red pair pictured above and, another, an off-white, hi-cut version with double tongue. Both shoes are made of sturdy canvass with rubber toe caps and vulcanised rubber soles. Besides, no matter what attire you wear, they look good on them 🙂 I used the red Chucks the most as, not only it is very comfortable even if it doesn’t have much foot support, it is durable and it looks cool! Not many sneakers can endure travels to six countries, walking in remote local villages and cities. Imagine how many footprints (erm, “shoeprints”?) have I left in those countries I visited?
After a dozen or so pairs over the years, in different colours but same style, I can say that my love for this shoes/brand has endured over time. Whenever I see the chevron and star logo, I am reminded of my good ole Converse shoes and the fond memories that go with them.