Have you read my Cambodia adventures, Day 1? Well, I hope you have and so here’s day 2! Day 2 was a much longer day as compared to Day 1! But it was so much more interesting as well!
Before we start, let me talk more about what I learnt so far in Siem Reap. Transportation for us was tuk-tuk. All-day, every day we travelled in Tuk-tuk. It is a motorcycle with a carriage attached at the back of it. It could comfortably sit 4 people. Cambodians do not eat spicy food. I was craving for a little spice in Cambodia, however food there is sweet, sour and salty. No spicy!
Alright, now carry on with the events of Day 2…
We awoke early that morning, about 6AM! We were heading to Soup Kitchen to prepare food for the villagers. I will talk more about Soup Kitchen at the bottom of this post, so carry on reading to find out! 🙂
We took a tuk-tuk out to the Kitchen. It was a smooth and breezy morning; hence it made the journey there enjoyable. When we arrived, many other volunteers were already on task. It was then, I made even more friends; friends from all around the world. But, there was one person that stood out the most. He would appear quite a lot in the following days, so be sure to remember him because he made quite an impression on me. So he is Uncle Eiffel. He is rather obnoxious, pretty loud as well. Despite all those traits, he is a helpful, cheerful and a very kind person with a very big heart and also, he looked extremely young even though he was way older than I thought he was. Hence the reason why I called him Uncle! Uncle Eiffel, if you are reading this, Hello, hope you are well!
We quickly found a spot among the others and got down to business! It was a Saturday then, and on every Saturday, Aunty Mavis (Person-in-charge of the Soup Kitchen), would prepare food and deliver the packed food to the villages. It is a bigger affair as compared to the weekdays, whereby they cook the food and serve to the villagers who visit the Soup Kitchen.
So on Saturday, the cook, Bonet, would prepare triple the amount of food to be packed and delivered to the villagers. The amount of food we prepared that Saturday was massive. There was so much to be chopped, cleaned and cooked. That Saturday passed very quickly as the prepping for the delivery took all morning till noon. Then the volunteers would have a quick lunch from the food that was prepared then the packing of the food. The menu that day was green vegetables curry, omelet and the staple of every Cambodian meal, rice.
We packed a total of 700 sets of rice, curry and omelets. We spent another few hours packing the food, then it was delivery time. We loaded the truck that was meant to bring us around the village to deliver the food. The truck was not any truck you would see. It was like a carriage, like the tuk-tuk but longer, and attached to a motorcycle. After we loaded the truck, with all the food, it was off to the village for delivery.
So, Aunty Mavis, who runs the Soup Kitchen, keeps a record of the villagers to give the food to. With every stop, she would take a moment and have a chat with the people. She would give them her utmost attention and she even provides them with basic medical care. She would carry a first-aid kit around an apply medication when she sees wounds on them. She is such an incredible woman, very brave as well.
We travelled for about 20 minutes to reach the suburbs. It was then; I witnessed a sight I have never seen before. Children were chasing the truck we were on barefooted when we passed by their community. Some even held onto the truck. Everyone on the truck were so worried for them, worrying that they might hurt themselves. They did not stop chasing till we reached another community. They started crowding the truck and I soon realized that they were chasing the truck for the food. Unfortunately we could not give them any until we are done distributing to the villagers.
Aunty Mavis communicated a little with the children and they listened obediently and got into a line, in hopes for a chance to be eating today. After we distributed to the villagers, we had a little extras, enough to give to the children who were waiting patiently in line. We still have other communities to distribute the food to; therefore we had to disappoint some children, as we do not have enough to feed them all.
The ride to the next community was pretty mundane till something got caught in the front wheel of the motorcycle. The motorcyclist slowed down to check what the issue was. And to our horror, a fork got caught in the wheel, which caused the wheel to be punctured. Some of us on the truck began to panic as we were in the middle of nowhere. Our phones had no service and Aunty Mavis was way ahead of us. I actually thought I might have to walk out to the city. I guess Aunty Mavis noticed that the food truck was not following behind her, and hence she made a detour to find us. We were told that there was a man who could help us with our problem, however he had to come to us, as it would be a very difficult task to push the food truck to him. (And unfortunately I did not capture any pictures of our little mishap…)
In the end, our driver went to look for the serviceman and while we were waiting for the new wheel, we distributed food to the villagers, chatted with them and observed their everyday life. It was the evening when our truck was fixed and moveable. We said our goodbyes to the villages and headed straight back to the city as the sun had already set.
The rest of the evening were having dinner and getting a massage. An, Juilana and I were famished when it was time for dinner. We did not even take any pictures of our food as we dug into our food the moment the dishes landed on our table. The massage was comforting after a long day. Then it was time to head back to our guesthouse and rest for the night.
Day 2 in Siem Reap was a pretty harsh start to our journey in Cambodia as the whole day was used to prepare food for the villagers. Nonetheless, the smiles on the villagers when they received their meals were priceless. It is something I would love to experience again. And Aunty Mavis, I really admire her courage and bravery to start The Soup Kitchen in Siem Reap. She was brave enough to leave the security and the comfort of her own country to venture out to Cambodia to provide for the people and she was courageous enough to start The Soup Kitchen, which in a foreign country. She left such a deep impression on me and now, she became an inspiration as well.
That’s all for Day 2! A pretty hectic day I must say, the following days in Cambodia are less eventful, yet still exciting and interesting. So stay tune and till the next time, Ciao~
Oh! And enjoy the photos that I took on Day 2… 😀