On day 2, we set off at 7am from Bangkok on a 7 hour journey to Siem Reap, Cambodia. It was quite a pleasant journey in two private buses.
When we arrived, we visited an orphanage and a school run by New Hope, Cambodia. Cambodia is an extremely poverty-stricken country and to witness the conditions in which people lived was very sad. Most of the Cambodian families whose rural neighbourhoods we visited earn less than $25 a month. With an average of 7 kids each, they are left with little or no money to feed their family. Many of them starve to death or die of illness because they cannot afford hospital. The Cambodian government does not provide help to it's people and the work that New Hope does for Cambodia is priceless. I saw someone on a motorbike with an IV drip attached to them and it was so sad to learn that such is commonplace here in Cambodia because people cannot afford $2 for an overnight mat or $6 for an overnight bed at the hospital. New Hope seeks to return pride and prosperity to Cambodia, because it was once a prosperous country, thrown into extreme poverty due to war. If you would like to support New Hope, visit their website here.
Despite the terrible suffering and poor living conditions, many of the people still appeared to be very happy and were very friendly. The kids are probably the cutest children in the entire world!This day definitely put first world problems into perspective- you and me, we don't have problems.
New Hope cooked us a lovely Khmer dinner which included roasted dragonflies. After much deliberation, I tried a dragonfly and it actually tasted good! Today, oour tour leader tried to get me to try roasted cockroach but I drew the line there- I hate the pathetic little things too much to ingest them.
This was the first of 2 and a half days spent in Siem Reap, Cambodia.