Today we started our day with a cooking class! We rode tuk-tuk’s to the local market to buy the ingredients we needed to make Amok and spring rolls. The first thing we noticed when walking into the market was the smell. It was an overwhelming smell of all the items the vendors were selling. It was very different than any market any of us had been to before. We saw live fish and chickens, along with fruits and vegetables, with locals bargaining for them. There were vendors selling their food on tables and the ground, along with animals, both living and dead, on display. As proof of quality to the purchaser, the vendor will kill the animal right in front of the purchaser and prove it to them first. The vendor will then proceed to cut off the head of the animal, and scale the fish, making sure not to waste the blood, which is sometimes boiled and used as a soup ingredient. One fish that was about to be killed leapt out of its tray and was promptly beaten with a baseball bat by the vendor.
After we bought all the ingredients we went to Friz, a local restaurant, to cook our lunch. We spent a couple hours preparing the meal. First we chopped a few vegetables and grinded them together in a mortar and pestle to form a paste. Then we added coconut milk and spices to make more of a soup-like consistency. Once we mixed that together we added the fish. Then we made bowls out of banana leaves to cook our meal in. While they were cooking we wrapped spring rolls and fried them. When everything was ready we sat down together on cushions around a short table to enjoy our meal. It was delicious!!!!
Ava: I thought today was super fun! I loved the cooking class, I thought that the Amok was delicious. It felt very accomplishing to successfully cook a meal. I also felt very moved and inspired by our visit to the PSE school. It was awesome seeing the kids in school and having fun on the playgrounds knowing what their backgrounds were.
Sadie: I loved riding in the tuk tuks. It was super cool to be at the level of the street and able to see all the traffic and everything going on around me.
Zander: What was the most impactful to me today was seeing the PSE school, which is a school that is completely free for destitute and impoverished children and offers one of the best educations available in Cambodia. The school was started by a French couple who, upon seeing children foraging in a garbage dump for food, devoted their lives to start the school.
Dylan: I also enjoyed seeing the school and interacting with the kids. They were so interested and excited to see us. Many of them would smile say hi or wave when we passed by. It was so special to see them in such a happy and welcoming place since they all had difficult pasts. Knowing that this organization would help them all to go on to finish their education and get jobs unlike many people can in Cambodia was also such an amazing thing to be a part of.