Saturday, June 30, 2018

oNe PhOtO jUnE 2018


FRIDAY 1st CIRCLE: The imperfect 8 little circles where the seeds are still imbedded in the imperfect circle of the lotus pods

SATURDAY 2nd SNACK: today’s snack before swimming was homemade baba ganoush with veggie sticks and pita bread. Perfect

SUNDAY 3rd I SAT HERE: on the front porch in our newly purchased outdoor seats for the first time on Friday afternoon when we brought them home. Every morning and afternoon since I have appreciated sitting here and taking advantage of the cooler weather now the monsoon has arrived

MONDAY 4th THIS IS SO ME: camera in hand, wearing orange and smiling into a classroom of small children in a monastic school in Myanmar. It was taken by Ian in 2013 and little did we know we would end up teaching little monks no so very far way from this spot

TUESDAY 5th FAVOURITE: place to stop and admire the ocean view on our way home after swimming. Even in the moody monsoon weather it’s enchanting

WEDNESDAY 6th I WORK HERE: Well I workout here anyway. Being retired I have the luxury of swimming and exercising in this pool three times a week. I do actually volunteer teach monks and village children too but none of it is paid work and that’s how they like it

THURSDAY 7th To MY LEFT: Thursdays we teach the little monks and as we entered the monastery today there was this Buddha on my left half way up the entrance steps. I have always struggled with left and right especially when giving directions under pressure. Years ago someone taught me to hold up my hands like this because the left hand makes the letter “l” for left. To this day I still do it

FRIDAY 8th MATES: Like any group of young children the dynamic changes often in our little monks class. Best friends become worst enemies in the blink of an eye but these two are currently best mates. After being separated when one was sent off to another monastery for 6 months, now they are happily reunited and almost inseparable

(PS I’m thrilled this was selected by admin as one of the best photos taken for this prompt on this day for the PAD challenge) 

SATURDAY 9th PAPER: I love cards, postcards, gift wrapping and envelopes and always buy a few when we travel. I also keep the images that are sent to me when I really enjoy them. I sometimes reuse and sometimes display them around the house. This is what is currently on hand

SUNDAY 10th ORGANISE: We are trying to organise an outdoor seating area. Having acquired seats last week. This week we finally organised the orchids, charcoal and coconut fibre so that we were able to plant the hanging coconut pots this morning

MONDAY 11th SOMETHING AWESOME: Now that we are less than two weeks away from heading home we are purchasing a few locally made gifts. This business is really something awesome. In addition to having a mission to employ and empower local people, it supports the local village school where it is located, has organic products and a fully restored traditional building for its showroom. Cooking classes, free tours with guides in three different languages and an on site restaurant are available. It also uses eco- friendly packaging for its gourmet salt, pepper and chilli products and provides free refreshments and a relaxing zone for the drivers who bring tourists to their farm and facility. La Plantation is truly something awesome on the local business scene and we are happy to use and promote their products. The salted fresh peppercorns are to die for by the way

TUESDAY 12th PLAY TIME: After our classes finish we usually provide balls, skipping ropes, yo-yos and jigsaw puzzles for the little monks to have some play time before their Khmer class begins. They are always keen to play and have so very few opportunities to do so. Today’s playtime was quite rambunctious

WEDNESDAY 13th A SIGN: This a popular hangout in Kep and an interesting play on words with the mangroves being a local attraction. Good friends run the establishment and we pop in on occasion though we could hardly be considered regulars. It was locked up tight this morning when we rode passed on our bikes but will be buzzing with activity soon enough

THURSDAY 14th I NEVER: Despite their antics and inattention I never grow tired of teaching these little guys. Today when we told them we would go to Australia and there would be no classes for a month. Little An held on to Ian’s hand and said, “Vicky.... Australie NO!” I don’t think he understands we will come back or that it was Ian not Vicky he was holding

FRIDAY 15th WATER: Huge terracotta pots filled with water and flowering waterlilies are a popular part of the decor for outdoor eateries in Cambodia. This one is at the beachside cafe we sometimes frequent

SATURDAY 16th DINNER: last night was veggies and rice noodles in miso soup with lotus root salad and Japanese style “konbu”

SUNDAY 17th OUTSIDE: It’s been a grey rainy day here with strong winds. We have spent most of it inside cafes and restaurants with old friends who came to visit. Though we have managed to be outside cycling and walking around enough to be rained on a total of five times. So…….. this is a shot from two days ago when we were standing in the driveway just outside our home admiring this spectacular monsoon sunset

MONDAY 18th SOMETHING BLUE: is the icon blue swimmer crabs of Kep immortalised in the giant crab in the bay with blue water and pale blue-grey monsoon sky

TUESDAY 19th THE WEATHER TODAY: was totally unpredictable. We rode to the beach in overcast and gloomy conditions, got home as the torrential rain started, got sunburned riding to teach our little monks and then soaked in heavy rain riding home. Thanks to Ian for capturing me in soaked and in see-through clothing as I cycled through the gates at home

WEDNESDAY 20th REWARD: Having spent the day washing, cleaning the house, packing up and packing to travel, this is our reward. The travel plans start becoming reality as of tomorrow’s bus to PP. Travel is always my favourite reward

THURSDAY 21st SOMETHING FAR AWAY: is Adelaide, Australia- my hometown but we are on our way. First step Phnom Penh today and in 4 more sleeps we will be staying a five-minute walk from this exact location. This is an archive shot from our last trip home

FRIDAY 22nd COLLECTION: This beautiful collection of Buddhas is in one of my favourite shops in Phnom Penh. Every time we come here I promise myself I will buy one for our home but don’t. Oh well...... maybe next time...

SATURDAY 23rd PINK: Dragon fruit are very pink on the outside and only sometimes pink on the inside. Not my favourite fruit and definitely my least favourite colour but right now in abundance in both Cambodia and Thailand and we flew from Phnom Penh to Bangkok today so a pretty appropriate choice

SUNDAY 24th BLACK AND WHITE: On the “skytrain” in Bangkok almost everyone is engaging with their screens and totally absorbed in them: seven seats - seven screens

MONDAY 25th PATH: The flight path on our last two legs home. It’s been roads and freeways and expressways until now but this is the kind of path I like – a flight path

TUESDAY 26th BRAVE: Having had only summer weather for almost 18 months we arrived home today and after no sleep and a very busy day we had to brave the cold winds and 6°C temperatures to take a walk on the beach. You actually aren’t home in Australia until you’ve been to the beach in our view

WEDNESDAY 27th I FEEL: very excited!! After looking and discussing and debating, we chose a new laptop for us and a new phone for Ian today in the Apple Store in Adelaide.  All that remains is to part with the hard earned cash and make our purchase. Thanks go to the staff member, who saw our hopeless attempts at selfies and wefies and snapped the shot too

THURSDAY 28th WHAT I’M DOING RIGHT NOW: is rediscovering Bhutanese treasures. We packed and mailed this box in January 2017 and today we spent a couple of hours trying to find it by pulling out a third of the stuff we have in storage. Now I am grinning from ear to ear and delighted to find my traditional clothes and many other wonderful treasures from the kingdom closest to my heart

FRIDAY 29th CLOSE-UP: of the logo of my favourite market in the world. Just waiting for the Vegan Cooking Demonstration to commence

SATURDAY 30th A PLANT: from the front yard of our house in the city. We did a walk by today and I just couldn’t resist. We will get to do an inspection too but nice to stroll by today

Friday, June 1, 2018

oNe PhOtO mAy 2018


TUESDAY 1st SOMETHING GOOD: The new number manipulatives proved to be something good in the little monks class today. The boys were really engaged and concentrating.  Due to it being a public holiday only four boys were there and that too was something good as I was the only teacher. Ian was not well enough to come

WEDNESDAY 2nd COLOUR: is the key to healthy eating and a balanced intake of vitamins and minerals. I learned over 20 years ago while living in Japan the philosophy of eating a rainbow. It works for me

THURSDAY 3rd ON MY PLATE: for dinner last night was roasted eggplant with soy sauce and sesame seeds. A simple rustic dish I learnt to make in Japan -though the eggplants should be chargrilled over coals. Looks like we might have to get a local charcoal grill if we want to keep making this one

FRIDAY 4th WHAT I SEE: and admire every time we go swimming. This view never gets old. Today the storm clouds were rolling in and thunder growling as we rode home in the drizzling rain thankful for the lower temperature and cool breeze

SATURDAY 5th EARTH: The red earth road we ride twice a week to get to the monastery to teach our little monks. After just a couple of rain showers it looks like this today. It doesn’t auger well for the coming wet season

SUNDAY 6th SOMETHING YELLOW : These flowers on the Cassia Fistula tree remind me of yellow wisteria. They bloom prolifically and one section of the main road through Kep is lined with them. It’s a spectacular sight when they are all in full bloom and made me wonder if that is why so many of the old colonial houses and walls like the one in the background are that striking yellow colour too - striking when they aren’t crumbling ruins that is!

MONDAY 7th SMALL: This small monkey was as fascinated by me as I was by him. He was high in the canopy frantically feeding when we hiked through Kep National Park today. Although he was part of a large troupe he was alone and independent

TUESDAY 8th I ENJOY....... : travelling, swimming, cooking, reading, cycling, writing and hiking but the thing I enjoy most about my life at the moment is teaching these little monks

(PS I’m thrilled this was selected by admin as one of the best shots taken on this day for the PAD Challenge – a rare privilege indeed for me)

WEDNESDAY 9th LOOKING DOWN: on the students who spelt out where they live with their bodies today as a part of the activities in class- Kep

THIRSDAY 10thTHROWBACK: Teaching High school Drama in the 1980’s. I knitted the dress, which was a copy of the text book cover. Obviously I didn’t take the photo but one of the biggest ‘tear-aways’ in the class did and when she found me on Facebook some 20 plus years later she sent it to me and we have since become firm friends

FRIDAY 11th CLEAN: For some time we have been concerned about the hygiene of the little monks we teach. They and their robes are always so grubby! With the generous donation of some dear friends, in Canada we bought this collection of personal care products today. We only need to add 4 wash basins and 6 more flannels from the local market tomorrow. Hopefully a quick hygiene lesson and some very CLEAN monks hereafter. Fingers crossed.... it is at least a beginning

SATURDAY 12th SHAPE: I choose the hexagon. I love cane baskets and seem to acquire them everywhere I live. This is one of the first locally made ones I bought in Cambodia. The design includes many shapes but predominately hexagons, which appear to be stars when viewed from some angles

SUNDAY 13th FAMILY: I feel blessed to have a wonderful group of people who have loved and supported me over the years. Among them are both family members and friends, who are the family we choose. Many more than those in this shot, fit that bill and span several continents but this was the maximum I could get in one photo. I know I’ve posted it before and it still holds true

MONDAY 14th LATE: afternoon view from the school today is a flash of colour on the mountains in Kep National Park

TUESDAY 15th I WISH....: I could do more to help these little monks. I also wish all students were as focused and engaged with so few resources. Mostly I wish them happiness and contentment

WEDNESDAY 16th SPEED: We ride almost everywhere and this is the usual Wednesday run. It’s never about the speed but I do hold the first place in one short segment we usually ride. Our priority is to attempt to ride 15kms a days

THURSDAY 17th KIND: The kind and generous donation of basic toilets at the monastery will hopefully have a positive impact on the monks’ hygiene and health

FRIDAY 18th DOORS AND WINDOWS: A touch of nostalgia from Old Market Street Kampot. Shop front renovations abound and no doubt this one will have its day and benefactor soon. Taken a month ago but it was still exactly the same last week when we were there. Now I feel compelled to check it out every time we visit Kampot. The day will come when it is a demolition site but until then I appreciate it

SATURDAY 19th BREATHTAKING: This magnificent tree in the Kep National Park, where we were hiking yesterday, is absolutely breathtaking

SUNDAY 20th IN MY KITCHEN: today’s roasted veggies, which will be added to couscous, salads and other dishes in the coming week. Sunday morning well spent

MONDAY 21st A GOOD READ: For many years I only read books about the country in which I was residing or travelling at the time, so I read these two books on my first trip to Cambodia. I have recently re-read them and would go so far as to say they are both not only a good read but perhaps a compulsory read for anyone interested in the recent history of Cambodia

TUESDAY 22nd CREATIVE: These days I seem to apply my creative energies to cooking and writing but these supplies allow me to be a little creative and add a splash of colour to our teaching resources for the little monks

WEDNESDAY 23rd PET: We don’t actually have a pet but this lovely old dog belongs to our landlords’ family and he often visits our yard or lies in the shade on our verandah when we are at home with the door open. I don’t think he has a name but we always refer to him as big dog. He has such a gentle nature and never barks at us unlike the many town dogs, who terrorize us when we walk by. This morning he just strolled into the driveway for a look around and quietly departed after I took this shot

THURSDAY 24th A REALLY GREAT DAY: We spent my birthday this year at Mondulkiri Project which is an elephant sanctuary near Sen Monorom in north eastern Cambodia. It was a really great day full of free roaming and bathing pachyderms. They stole my heart. No riding, only interaction based on the elephants’ desire to approach encouraged by armloads of bananas

FRIDAY 25th OOPS: wrong answer but as the littlest and newest class member with only one lesson under his belt he is forgiven. So close but just missed it. Taken yesterday in our ever expanding monks’ class

SATURDAY 26th MACRO: shot of a tiny Ylang Ylang bloom in the garden where we swim. The flowers might be small but the perfume is powerful

SUNDAY 27th GARDEN: This little garden is at the entrance to a magnificent house in Kep. Behind the white wall lies a stunning tropical garden and this serves as a taste of what is to come as you enter

MONDAY 28th MAKE: Twice a week when we go to Kep Gardens I make packed lunches for us to have late in the afternoon. I always base them on the eat a rainbow principle and try to make them look attractive as well as taste delicious

TUESDAY 29th PEOPLE: These little people - novices,  monks and village children are the people with whom we spend our Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. They add purpose, satisfaction and happiness to our lives. This was taken today during the Khmer language class following our English session, which was nowhere near as orderly and disciplined as this

WEDNESDAY 29th SILHOUETTE: of the palms and trees in our front yard against one of those enormous full moons that take your breath away. An archive shot from a couple of months ago

THURSDAY 31st TEMPTATION: This is the temptation I don’t indulge until I’m back in Australia. Wine especially dry, white and well chilled is what I am most tempted by but here the shelves are bursting but the heat and poor storage don’t auger well for it living up to one’s expectations …. home in Oz in less than 3 weeks and then I shall indulge