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

Monday, April 30, 2018

oNe PhOtO aPrIl 2018


SUNDAY 1st ONE: Organising our new resources to teach the little monks today and I realised we have a lot of number manipulatives to help improve their recognition skills and enable them to create numbers up to 100. Number one is yellow and we now have 15 of them

MONDAY 2nd TWO: One fresh coconut prepared in two different styles - half shredded while we waited to be used for cakes, curries and sauces and half still in the shell to dry for snacks and trail mix. Making the most of local ingredients in Kep

TUESDAY 3rd THREE: simple ingredients make up my favourite tipple - Vodka, lime and soda, and this prompt was all the excuse I needed to indulge

WEDNESDAY 4th FOUR: Despite the diversity of dishes we regularly cook just about every one begins with these four basic ingredients

THURSDAY 5th A IS FOR: avocado! After seriously over indulging in avocados in Tanzania I thought I would never eat them again, but this perfect specimen brought me back from avocado intolerance this morning.

FRIDAY 6th B IS FOR: beach of course. Today was Kep Gardens School Beach Day and we spent the whole afternoon supervising kids in the water. Lots of squeals of delight, water fights,
laughter and ice cream

SATURDAY 7th C IS FOR: Cambodia. Spent all day waiting for my bike to be repaired so that’s it. Still feels like a privilege to live here and a delight to finally have a decent map of the country

SUNDAY 8th D IS FOR: Deco designs. The historic Art Deco Fish Market on the riverfront in Kampot, now completely restored and a swank seafood restaurant

MONDAY 9th E IS FOR: elephant’s eye.  Just over two weeks ago we visited Mondulkiri Province specifically to see the elephants. We spent a magical day walking among five of these gentle giants and feeding them copious quantities of bananas

TUESDAY 10th F IS FOR: fresh fruit from the market. I seem to be subconsciously supporting the Aussies at the Commonwealth Games with my green and gold choices today but who can resist bananas, limes, mangoes and avocados?

WEDNESDAY 11th G IS FOR: gecko. This is one is a tokay gecko and bigger than my hand span. He or she visits nightly and enjoys hanging out behind the fridge in the kitchen. Various smaller ones reside permanently indoors. You just have to accept that they are part of life in the tropics

THURSDAY 12th H IS FOR: hibiscus. This gorgeous one blooms prolifically in our front yard despite being only about half a metre tall. They really are the essence of summer

FRIDAY 13th I IS FOR: ice-coffee with ice cream. Made at home to avoid the plastic cups, lids and straws of the seaside vendors. Perfect for these hot humid conditions and an excellent way to celebrate Khmer New Year too

SATURDAY 14th J IS FOR: jetty pylons. All that remains of the old jetty at the crab market in Kep. It still looks lovely at sunset in my opinion

SUNDAY 15th K IS FOR: Kampuchea and the Khmer people and language but the ubiquitous kramer or scarf is seen daily and worn as sun protection and to keep warm. However it also has hundreds of other uses; a belt, a baby hammock, a turban, a carry bag, a sash, a beach towel...... to name but a few. As you can see I adore them and their versatility

MONDAY 16th L IS FOR: lotus. I love these flowers and they symbolise purity. May we all, like the lotus, have the ability to rise unsullied from the mud and bloom bringing joy and beauty into the world

TUESDAY 17th M IS FOR: monks with muffins. We start teaching these gorgeous little guys again next week so we went up to the monastery- ostensibly to repair the blackboard but also bearing muffins today. We so rarely see them before midday and their religious vows do not allow them to eat after then so I was finally able to make good on my promise to bake them muffins

WEDNESDAY 18th N IS FOR: numbers. We now have 4 sets of numbers like these to help our little monks work in pairs to recognize and write four digit numbers. I am thinking about our classes more and more now that the break is almost over

THURSDAY 19th O IS FOR: Outdoor outpatients clinic at the Kep Hospital where we took our little monks today for a checkup and treatment. It was an outing for them and a totally new and novel experience. I think Nit thought he was having an operation when the blood pressure cuff was put on him. All of them left with several packets of medication and I do hope this alleviates some of their itching and suffering

FRIDAY 20th P IS FOR: palm right on the beach and swaying in the breeze. Captured at twilight as we returned from swimming

SATURDAY 21st Q IS FOR: quiver, question, quail and quilt according to our teaching resources. Problem is I doubt our little monks will know any of these objects. At least they will enjoy colouring them. Just one page of the hundreds we have prepared for our classes and the only “Q” I could come up with today

SUNDAY 22nd R IS FOR: river-the Mekong actually and taken by Ian when we were out dolphin watching. I am feeling rested, relaxed and ready to resume the regular routine. Last day of the Khmer New Year Break today

MONDAY 23rd S IS FOR: school and students. The final school term began today at Kep Gardens and we are back volunteering

TUESDAY 24th T IS FOR: tuk-tuk transport to the hospital. Follow up visit for the little monks today and a noticeable improvement in their health. Sorry to lose our English lesson time but glad they are getting better

WEDNESDAY 25th U IS FOR: ungulate in the shade under a tree


FRIDAY 27th W IS FOR: Words. This online game is called words with friends and I play it daily but only against two people, both of whom I know very well. Haven’t done much today as Ian is running a high fever and we have just returned from the local hospital, which we’ve seen a bit too much of lately

SATURDAY 28th X IS FOR: xerophyte and there are plenty to choose from in our garden. Ideally suited to the current weather conditions as we swelter through the hottest month of the year in Cambodia

SUNDAY 29th Y IS FOR: yellow yoghurt - a delicious fresh mango and aloe yoghurt smoothie for breakfast

MONDAY 30th Z IS FOR: Zucchini is one of those vegetables we don’t see very often so I took the opportunity to buy a couple when we made a flying visit to Kampot market this morning