I woke up at the crack of dawn once again, so I decided to take a mountain biking tour through the rural towns outside of Phnom Penh before we visited CSARO, the NGO of the day. When I arrived at the bike shop, I was the only client so they gave me my own private adventure. We cycled through three rural villages and took three little ferries.
The first village, the most prevalent of three, was small but had this very quaint pagoda and a small private school. The little kids told me I was the whitest person they have ever seen.
In the second village, we visited a sweet Cambodian family that walked us through the silk making process. Although Srun and her children didn’t speak any English, we shared a couple of laughs over my attempt to speak Khmer.
The third village was flooded making the cycling trip a difficult but an entertaining challenge.
This afternoon, we visited the Community Sanitation and Recycling Organization (CSARO) an NGO the focuses on improving the environment and living conditions of urban poor in Cambodia. Torri, my dumpster diving travel companion, has never been happier in her entire life. I never knew a person could have so many questions to ask about trash!
For dinner, we went to a restaurant called Friends that was started in 1996 to help get children off the streets. The entire restaurant is run by former street kids. They have several locations throughout southeast asia. Each of the projects focuses on providing direct services to marginalized urban children. Check out their website for more info www.friends-international.org. Plus, the food was phenomenal!