Cambodia: Week 19

Tasha headed to Singapore for the week on Sunday, so I was all by myself for the week. It was just as well that she was away because I was in the provinces all week.

On Monday morning, I headed to Kandal and Takeo province with Monorom, the national sales manager of Lors Thmey.

I couldn’t resist taking a video of the rice fields. I will miss them when we leave Cambodia.

In the bathroom of the place we stopped for breakfast, there were spiders nicely lit by a crack in the latrine roof.


In Kandal, we visited a cucumber farm’s plot.


Rice field

I still can’t get over that rice is just grass seeds…
The diesel pump they used for the field.

After visiting a few places in Kandal, we arrived at our hotel in Takeo in the early afternoon. I took a nice walk just before dinner. I made it up to the roof of the hotel (the doors were open, I didn’t climb anything) and took some pictures of town.



Monorom and I had dinner with 8 staff members from the Takeo branch of Lors Thmey. It was a very fun dinner. I took a pocket video of it.

On Tuesday, we got up and headed to the solar pump. The pump is still working despite some issues we have had with it, and the farmer has begun the harvest. The video below shows the cucumber field. It is a little less than 0.5 an arce in size.

After visiting the field, we went to my “favorite” restaurant and had one final serving of the cow brains, lungs, stomach, and blood soup. Yum. Then, we headed back to Phnom Penh.

On Wednesday, I had lunch with the head of the human-centered design division of iDE Cambodia. It was a really great conversation. I wish I would have met with her earlier because it seems like they do really interesting work. In the afternoon, Sovanntha, Kimsan, the COO of Lors Thmey, and I headed to Prey Veng province to see the other solar pump.

On Thursday morning, we got up and headed to the farm.

Can he fit anything else on that cart?
Sovanntha plastic welded and epoxying the top housing of the pump.
The farmer with a SunKing light, which was a gift given to Tasha and I during the conference in Bangkok. We already have one, so we thought we would share the love.
Another picture of the rice field behind their cucumber farm.
There was a stuck truck in our way!
Not looking good, so we took a detour.

Then, if I hadn’t been in the field enough, on Friday I went back to an eastern disctrict of Prey Veng. One of the members of the Takeo branch of Lors Thmey was getting married on Friday, and I was invited to the reception, so I tagged along with Sovanntha, Monorom, and Apreak, the branch manager of Kandal and Prey Veng. They were gathering local farmers to show them a demonstration project. Lors Thmey is trying to gain customers in this village and so are using the demonstration project to show farmers how to grow cucumbers.

Tomato field
A little crab. It’s strange to see crabs nowhere near the ocean.
A rice field impacted by heavy rains. The farmers need to harvest the rice by hand when this happens, which takes weeks instead of hours with a mechanical harvester. Heavy rains will become more common due to climate change, which will make the harvest more difficult for farmers.

After sitting with the farmers and employees of Lors Thmey, I decided to take another walk around the fields in the backyard.

Backyard cows
Rice fields harvested with a swather.
Rice, yet to be cultivated.

I took two panoramas in the field for a 360 degree view.


Lily paddies behind the houses.

Sadly, none of the farmers showed up for the demonstration of the cucumber field. We headed into Krong Prey Veng for lunch and then started driving to Svay Rieng for the wedding.

On the way, I couldn’t resist taking another video of the rice fields. :)

Outside the wedding
The bride and groom along with Lors Thmey staff from Takeo, Prey Veng, and Kandal.
A party favor! It’s a pen. I lent mine to a baby sitting next to me, and he threw it on the ground.
The singer at the reception.
Bride and groom.

I took a video of the dinner.

Some circle dancing!

After the wedding, we headed back to Phnom Penh that night.

Saturday was a lower key day. I got some work done and then wandered around the city a bit taking pictures.

The causeway near our apartment. Like many urban rivers in Asia, it was pretty smelly.


Independence Monument
The main square in Phnom Penh. Lots of walkers and kids playing football.


A wat and the moon.


Tasha came back from Singapore on Saturday evening. We had dinner at home and a lower key day on Sunday. It’s crazy to think that we are almost done with our time in Cambodia!

Next week, I will be in the office trying to wrap up my reports and finishing an article on mini-grids in southeast Asia. Then Tasha and I head off to Siem Reap to see the ruins of the Angkor empire.


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