[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text letter_spacing=””]today we travel to the village, but first Phiya organized a cooking class for us. We woke up early to buy fresh supplies at the local market. I also bought mangosteens (for you dad!) and a large hat for sun protection. A randomly chosen hat turns out to be Prada! Our walk through the market: the smell of fresh meat, buzzing of flies, and the roar of motorbikes was overwhelming for many of us. Our fish vendor killed, gutted, and skinned a large fish for us in less than three minutes. It was impressive and graphic. The adventure ended with a ride on some tuk-tuks back for breakfast. We were prepped for the cooking class. The chefs of LeTong had set out all the ingredients and patiently waiting to begin.
Emily, Olivia, Jim, Sarah, and I learned to make fish amok, while Ellie, Kara, Anne, Alexa, and Ester made some sort of chicken dish. All of us made fried spring rolls. It all turned out great prepare to have some when I get home, mom, dad, and Quinn. We then feasted on our beautiful Creabiani and thanked the chefs. We then took well-earned showers in preparation to head to the island. We packed up and loaded up the much worse “blue bus” to take us to the boat.
It was an hour drive to the boat and then another hour on the boat to the island. We dropped down a steep embankment with our hiking backpacks and loaded them onto a long skinny boat with what looked like a leaf blower on the back. Emily and I were very scared but lowered ourselves into the shaky boat. We drifted away from the shore and floated off down the Mekong.
The boat hit waves, spraying all of us and continued for a while until we reached a small clearing on a hillside but surprisingly, no dock. We climbed out of the boat with our packs and scaled up the slippery bank. At the top, a line of schoolgirls welcomed us to the island. We used our Khmer to say hello and thanks. Jim, Sarah, and Phiya then sent us to our homestays. Alexa, Olivia, and Sarah in one; Jim, Kard, and Ester in another; and Emily, Anne, Ellie, and me in a fourth. We settled into our princess-like mosquito nets and tried our hardest to communicate. We also received bicycles to travel around the island. Phiya ‘s wife and child live on the island, so we had the pleasure of meeting them as well.
We then use our bicycles to tour the island and see our work site – we were excited to start the project. We returned to our homestays to prepare for dinner. It was starting to rain, but Emily, Ellie, Anne, and I decided to keep walking to dinner – we got soaked to the bone and dinner was being held off. We stood in the rain until another homestay invited us inside. We shared snacks, Khmer, and games to pass the time. We then braved it to go to dinner and enjoyed an amazing meal. After we were all exhausted, we returned to our homestays. Emily and I laughed at the cat in the home and drifted off to sleep.
TO SEE A VIDEO OF THIS BEAUTIFUL SITE GO TO INSTAGRAM SITE VIA THIS LINK (YOU’LL NEED TO CUT/PASTE INTO YOUR BROWSER): https://www.instagram.com/p/BzVarstniOa/?igshid=yp8hd4ltmtuh