Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Catch up

Right well it been mad busy and some great craic the last couple of weeks but I have decided this evening to catch up with you all in blog land otherwise it’ll never happen. So you’ve heard about the Pirates my first two weeks and work and my party piece so week 3 went something like this.

In work did interviews for translator/project assistant. We seem to be having a spot of trouble filling the post I hope it has nothing to do with my interview style. Anyway the rest of the week was spent learning about teachers working conditions and reading reports in order to prepare CITA’s position papers. On Friday I went with Sotras to a project meeting at the EU Del office which was interesting. Afterwards I had a very good meeting with an Italian NGO called CIAI who have been working on Child Friendly Schools and might provide training for CITA members (fingers cross). So that a bad old week work wise.

On the social side it was a busy one. On Tuesday evening Emily, Chris and I went to screening of documentary called Pay or Die about the Cambodian health sector which was organised by Cambodian NGO and included an Q&A session which is unusal for Cambodia, There is great former VSO Vol called Collette (irish of course) who is we meet there and she is doing great work on project called PAC (Peoples Action of Change) which is seeking to bring NGO’s and people together in grassroots movement around key issues.

Wednesday I went to the plays produced by the kids at the International School Phnom Penh where Sarah works. There were two plays and they were both very good and showed some promising young talent in terms of writing, directing and acting.

Thursday was Emily's birthday so a load of people turned up at Tamarind and several people were surprise guests who had told her they couldn't make it. It was great night with plenty or chat, food and booze.
The boats

team VSO
Sweat it good for you
Had early night Friday in order to be ready for the boat race on Saturday morning. Ah the boat race it was an amazing experience. VSO has the only boat with non-Cambodian’s on it and we are generally admired just for turning up I think. Anyway we boarded our boat near the FCC and rowed it put to the start line, this took about 30 minutes and really tried some of us out. We were boat 210 and we raced against 209,at the start I thought we were doing well but before the half way mark 209 had left us from dust and the two boats in the next race were passing us out. We eventual crossed the finish after a massive amount of shouting to keep up our pace so that we didn’t get beaten by the 6th boat.

Where is the pizza

All dressed up 
After the race I went to FCC, broke out the credit card and got very happy with pizza, chips and beer. It was a great day. The following evening I went to the riverfront to watch the light boats and fireworks which was fantastic. 
Light Boats
The following evening I went to the riverfront to watch the light boats and fireworks which was fantastic. I also has great dinner with Wim, Dom, Sarah, Anna and Jughey (check-out the photos on photos). Although it was a little scary trying to get home that night as it took 20 minutes just to cross the street and I had to lift my bike over my head which enlisted shouts and cheers from the locals who cleared a path for me. 
the crowds
The following Monday of course was when the Diamond Island tragedy happened which really shocked everyone. I was in Kampot at the time be effect of the events were felt even there and are still been talked about here. 

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