Phnom Penh 2010

October 10th 2010 Day 1 – Thursday 7th October – First Experiences With our flight arriving at around 8.30am in Phnom Penh, we were able to make the most of our time in Phnom Penh with a full day ahead of us. Mind you, having got up at 3am, it seemed more like midday by the time we arrived! Our trip coincided with Pchum Ban Festival in Cambodia, so we weren’t sure what to expect. Equivalent in importance to Christmas for us, Pchum Ban is the time that Cambodians have to honour and remember their parents and grandparents who have passed away. Many people return to their hometowns to visit family, which means leaving the town for the country. Driving through the streets, Phnom Penh did seem quieter than I expected. Our first port of call was the Riverkids Alexandra Project, which helps families at the nearby Psaar Touch slum area. First Hand is funding a Food Program for them, which encourages local families to send their children to school at the centre in exchange for a rice box each week. The centre is trying to break the cycle of the children being sent out to work on the streets, or being sold. Most of the children who usually attend lessons there were away visiting family, but seven of them were left behind. These children reside at the Project because of unstable conditions at home. After depositing 2 huge bags of toys, clothes, books and stationery – thanks to the donations of friends back in Singapore – we then took these kids out for the day. Initially we were...