Monday, December 24, 2012

Siem Reap 6 Good Works (12/24,25/2012)

Still Monday, December 24, 2012
Our afternoon tour began at 15:00, with a short bus ride to downtown Siem Reap and the Artisans d'Angkor, a workshop showcasing Khmer handicrafts. The company was established in the late 1990s to develop training programs and good working conditions for the people in the rural areas. They have also branched out to training students who have hearing impairments and other disabilities. Artisans d'Angkor has at least 42 workshops throughout the Siem Reap province. They produce quality handicrafts for sale.
Wood carving:
Each trainee makes his own tools:
Drawings of the wood carving:
Careful work:
Stone carving:
Detailed work:
A stencil is used for the details:
They also use soapstone for carving smaller figures.
Lacquer box process:
Lacquer art:

A budding artist:

Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Merry Christmas! It seems appropriate that today we are visiting a village that benefits from the projects and programs of the Homestay Volunteer Teachers Organization (HVTO). This group was founded in part by a guide who works with Viking River Cruises.
A reception line of students greeted us at the school where they provide free classes in English and computers, as well as having a library:
Each of us was accompanied by a student to practice his English and as a guide to the premises (basically a three-room building with a library, computer room, and classroom for English).
The youngsters in the classroom sang a song to us, and somehow I was in the group to sing a song for them ("We Wish You a Merry Christmas").
One of the organization's projects is installing water pumps for clean water:
It was explained to us that due to a shortage of teachers, half the children go to regular school in the morning and the other half in the afternoon. Most children end their studies in Grade 7 or 8, as money is needed to continue. The organization also seeks sponsors to allow the smartest and hardest working students to obtain higher education. These students will repay the privilege by working with the younger children.
The neighbors were curious:
We were then led through the village, passing by stilt houses:
Elderly woman:
Rice granary:
Thien with some village boys:
Water pump:
Today's land mines:
Donors for the bridge:
Bamboo fence:
A typical stilt house:
Except for the satellite dish:
The convenience mart:
A stilt house of straw:
Rice threshing:
A long-grained rice:
Village woman:
A stilt house of "sticks:"
The usual bridge:
A rice grinder:
The HVTO Program Director demonstrates operation of the rice grinder:
Hammocks are a must:
Hylocereus sp/Dragonfruit Tree:
pulling a big load:
Ox cart:
A loaded ox cart going the other way:
Village shop:
That's gasoline in those bottles!
These kids must be on their way to or from school:
We returned to the hotel to check out, then boarded motorcoaches to head to Kampong Cham.

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