Monday, September 15, 2014

Easy day, visit to Ouknhatey Village.

The ship is still docked at Phnom Penh, Cambodia, its a lovely sunny day and we are all free to explore the city or not. Erle and I decide  to take a short wander down to the market.

Back to the ship to sit on the balcony in the sun and read my book before its time for lunch, when the ship sets sail again up the river.
This afternoons excursion is by Tuk tuk to Ouknhatey Village. When we get there we notice that the Mekong is rising quite quickly, it has not been raining here but the Mekong is a very long river, there must of been a big rain in China or Thailand to swell the river. We land on shore from the small boats to a pier that has been recently sand baged so it is dry for us to land on and is not in danger of being swept away by the flooding, it will not be many days before the pier is completely under water, but that is the way of the Mekong Delta, the rice paddy production depends on a regular flood every year. All the houses are built on
stilts to accommodate the rising waters, once the land is all covered the people use their boats to get around.

Tuk Tuks are lined up waiting for us and take us inland a little to the village. These are the kind that are driven by a motorbike undercover and very comfortable.

There is a man power irrigation system, a man sits on a bike and pedals madly to move the water wheel thing to lift the water, effective but slow hard work. Just what POl Pot envisioned, no mechanical gear only man power.

Then we are shown the Silk Worm production, how the tiny silk worms are fed on Mulberry leaves till big and fat and ready to make a cocoon of their silken webs.

 The cocoons are left to dry for some time in the store house, before being placed in boiling water to loosen the threads and to slowly unwind al the lovely silk onto spindles, two ladies do this together from the same cocoon. Beside them is a basket of dried cocoons all ready to unwind.

This is a very labour intensive job that must result in a lot of burnt fingers from the boiling water. Once collected it goes to the weavers and they spend long hours at their looms making silk material outside but under the cover of a roof on poles.
 This is a family run business, there is a small shop selling some of their wares.

On the way back to the ship we make a brief stop at the Village School, only two classrooms and only one head teacher but with some young assistants. The children can speak some English and sing us a song, If your Happy and you know it Clap your Hands. I know it too and sing along with them from the back of the class beside two of the older girls, who showed me their school books and I gave them some pens and pencils and sweets.

The children were all happy and healthy tidily dressed and enjoying school.

In the evening it is cocktail hour and another big briefing about the next few days activities.
Hung tells us he has had word of the 2 ladies who had to leave out tour for hospital back at Ha Long Bay. They are released from Hospital and have just boarded a plane back to New Zealand, fully recovered.
It seems the ladies had to pay for everything.... many many thousands of US$ but will get reimbursed by their insurance polocy. It appears like it costs about $2,000 a night in the hospital.


Cloudia said...

Thank You, Glennis for taking us along

ALOHA from Honolulu
=^..^= . <3 . >< } } (°>

diane b said...

There is sure a lot to do on this tour if you want to. Silk worm farm was interesting. Sad the two ladies from NZ had to miss the rest of the tour. I hope there travel insurance pays.

Roan said...

I don't think I want that man's job. Looks like a long day of peddaling to me. Everything is so colorful!

Truelyme said...

Hi Glennis,
Thanks for visiting my blog !
you also have nice and colorful pictures on your blog. I enjoyed it esspecially the one on the market.

greetings, Trudy