Monday, July 27, 2009

Journal: Monday 27 July 2009

Monday started with my Level 1 students and a lesson about jobs. We read a story about a man with 13 jobs! Then it was off to Soup Dragon for breakfast and waiting for the Couch Surfers to meet us for our big trip out to the countryside.

We had organized a day of visiting the Artisans d'Angkor Silk Farm, the Western Baray (a water reservoir popular for relaxing in hammocks among the locals), and Da's village for making banana rice cakes and riding on a buffalo cart to see them planting rice.
Jen & Sebastian getting the low-down from the Artisans guide.

The tour at Artisans was fantastic as usual. I always learn something new every time I go. They have also renovated the tour so that you walk along covered walkways. Plus there is a lovely museum-like building at the end of the tour which shows some historical silk uses and such.

From there we went on to the Western Baray for a picnic lunch of grilled chicken and fish. Yummy! I loved the roasted fish with the freshly grated mango sauce. Don't forget to pick up some nom plai ai which are little rice dough balls filled with sugar cane topped with shredded coconut. We spent about an hour or so hanging out there before heading back to the house.

Back at the village, Da's mom had prepared the ingredients for making some rice cakes filled with bananas. This was a lot of fun to include the CSers on. We all enjoyed dabbing some pre-cooked rice on the banana leaves then folding it around a slice of banana before folding up the banana leaf to close it.
Sebastian & Jen getting a lesson in making traditional rice cakes from Da's mom.

The rice cakes were left to be steamed while we took off for a ride on an ox-cart through the rice fields to see some people planting rice. Unfortunately the timing was not the best as the rain decided to come after we got out to watch them planting rice. We had to hurry back to the cart, but there wasn't enough time to get back to the village for shelter before the rain hit.

And hit it did! The wind was gusting so hard that when it started to rain it felt more like little needles on our exposed skin. Without any protection we got drenched. By the end of the ride we were literally dripping wet. Of course, it was fun and exciting for the first few minutes, but after awhile I was counting down the minutes until we got back.
Sebastian & Da at the cart pulled by water buffalo.

Naturally, as soon as we arrived and ducked under some shelter the rain stopped and the sun made an appearance again. The villagers certainly enjoyed laughing their heads off at the soaked foreigners. We eventually laughed, too.

We slogged back to the cottage to warm our spirits with freshly cooked banana rice cakes. Double yummy!

We met up again later in the evening after I finished teaching for dinner at Khmer Kitchen.

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