Rice Rice Rice… Circus!
Tuesday, February 16th, was spent riding around in a tuk-tuk visiting all kinds of villages and wonderful charity centers around Battambang.
First we went to the Phare Ponleu Selpak NGO which takes in children and teaches them music, painting, computer animation, and circus performance. Some of the kids are housed, clothed, and fed there, and many others just come during the day. There are kids of all ages, from those who can just barely walk, to adults around age 22. It’s an excellent NGO, one of the best in Cambodia, and they are doing great work. Definitely don’t miss a visit if you’re ever in Battambang.
Then we had a short stop at an orphanage where we met some cute kids.
Next we went to a village where bamboo sticky rice is made. I bought some, and as you can see below one of the tuk-tuk drivers wanted to steal it from me.
Hey pal, back off my sticky rice!
After that we went to a village where they make rice noodles. After being cooked the rice is made into a gooey paste.
Then the paste is pressed through little holes into boiling hot water.
The noodles are then rinsed in cool water and the noodles are ready to be sold.
We also visited a rice paper making village. Below you can see some drying on a rack.
While there I made a little friend. She looked worried until she saw herself on the camera screen, then she was all smiles.
We stopped at the Ptea Teuk Dong Street Family Center for a delicious lunch ($4). PTD takes in street families and abused women and teaches them vocational skills for 1 year including sewing, weaving, furniture making, food preparation, and agriculture. After a family completes the program they are given a plot of land with a small wooden house and start-up funds for a small business. Besides buying lunch I bought a super cute handmade purse for $5.
I had been feeling really dizzy all morning so mom and I ditched the rest of the tour and chilled out in the hotel for the afternoon. At 6:30pm we went back to the Phare Ponleu Selpak NGO for an hour long circus performance ($8). It was lots of fun. There are no animals, just people doing acrobatics and juggling. There were stories being acted out so I guess you could say it was like a play on uppers. The performers were very talented; the pictures don’t do them justice.
Afterward we had dinner at the restaurant there. It was very good, except for the questionable squid things that looked exactly like squid, with eyes and everything, but the chefs insisted was imitation squid… I skipped that dish.
Tomorrow we have a long-ass 6.5 hour boat ride down the river and across Tonle Sap Lake to Siem Reap. I hope it’s fun :p