Sunday January 9th SRC
An' the dawn comes up like thunder outer Nam 'crost the
Mekong! Heralding another blazing bright, blue and dry tropical morning. It was the tour guides ideal for visiting the Khmer royal temples. Despite an initial reluctance, I gave in to the temptation to yet again climb and admire the legacy of the Cambodian’s pride. Seen through the eyes of uninitiated American students and four Apsaras from PUC as guides it was truly a novel experience. Clearly there was a bond established very quickly between the male BSU visitors and the young ladies from PUC… much laughter, exchanging of customs and an impressive amount of Khmer to English and reverse studying afoot. Followed most naturally with facebook and e-mail connections.
We visited the Bayon first accompanied by the most numerous herd of my several trip. Much of Asia was present for muster at the South Gate. The monkeys had all fled for fear of becoming road surface, I suspect… they did appear in goodly number later at the rear entrance to Angkor Wat. There was much kissing of the king and nose to nose portraiture captured… Jayavarmen VII will be well remembered at BSU.
Ta Prom followed and as always impressed. It also conjured up memories of tropical epochs like Temple of Doom and Laura Croft Tomb Raider. Culture has a way of bridging the generations… Temple of Doom was released about half a dozen years before any of the group were delivered by the busy stork. From there onto the crown jewel!
We cleverly entered at the East Gate… the back door. The east galley was laid out for us will nary a soul in sight… a truly special moment. Most of the temple was open for visiting and the majority of the unsightly intrusion of scaffolding and green mesh netting had evaporated. We were able to climb to the third level and approach the base of Mount Meru the home of the Hindu Devas. The students expressed a collective awe at what the saw today.
Off to the Soup Dragon for dinner to end a fine day.
Monday January 10th SRC
Today Bob, Kevin and Beth led the 7 dwarfs to the mine for a hearty mornings work. There was training and filter building in their futures. Sathya prepared them with a very professional session on how to build a filter with great pictures and much detail based on the accumulated years of refining the methods… these guys really know what they are doing!! The BSU workers were then let loose to demold 10 units then clean and oil these molds for tomorrow’s production. Meanwhile the regular crew was setting up today’s molds. The highlight of the demolding experience was clearly the “POP”. For the poor uninitiated… the “POP” occurs when the core frees itself and permit itself to be extracted revealing the inside of the virgin filter. Then the strong backs got into the piles of sand, gravel and big bags of cement… simply add water and work hard in the tropical sun turning this all onto a really big pile of concrete. Then bucket by bucket each mold was topped and it was time to hydrate again… orders from Sergeant Mieko!! Seur then got on the video display and presented the details of installing a filter in preparation for the promised looong day in the field. We will be doing the first Rotary installation in Chi Kreng District.
The workers and leaders returned to Shadow for a desperately needed clean up and cool down before grabbing lunch and heading of to the National Museum. Mieko, Seur, Hok Seng and I met Jon at the little Indian restaurant in the market … curiously LITTLE INDIA…and enjoyed a great meal prepared by his friend… terrific tandoor chicken!!
After that we returned to reality and began planning for the Rotary Foundation audit in February… all play and no work just doesn’t cut it. Then we rendezvoused and returne4d to… LITTLE INDIA… the more nan the better but I think I’m going to leave the Sub-continent and move geo-gastronomically.