Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Just got out of the bus in Battambang and, wow, was that an experience in itself. I thought Michigan pot holes were bad...these roads barely have enough space to get two cars through, with construction dirt piled up on either side and rocks the size of softballs scattered about like an derranged obstacle course. Sometimes we had to cross over these mounds to make way for giant trucks and on several occasions I thought we for sure were going straight into the ditch. But on the way from Siem Reap, Adam and I managed to observe a lot about Cambodian country life. Sadly, most of these houses are in terrible condition and the size of most American bedrooms and propped up by stilts to avoid flood damage. I felt that I have more in my luggage than most had in their entire house and this is really when feelings of guilt started to play in. These people perform back-breaking labor daily, working from the break of dawn until sunset only for a few dollars a day if that. Most Americans, instead, have comfy cubicles and often check their email most of the day than doing the job but make much more money. It's hard when you're constantly surrounded by luxury to understand the almighty power of the US greenback, but when you travel to countries like Cambodia, things are blatently put into perspective. We also saw up to five people riding into town on the family moped, one having an IV attached while riding to the hospital...can you imagine? We are so lucky to have ambulances and hospitals within range unlike these people. I have so much respect for the Cambodian people and their resilance and kindness.