Thursday, May 29, 2008

Pigs in Cambodia


I really wanted to get the pictures of the pigs on the water on my blog about going to the floating village, but technology is slow in these parts and the squirrels that power our internet connection must be hot and it never would load correctly so I added it here. Yes this is a cage full of pigs and yes they are floating out in the middle of a lake attached to their owners boat. It was quite a sight to see.



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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Technical Difficulties

Good Wednesday to all of you. I have been working hard on my post about my trip but I can not upload pictures for some reason tonight. And the post just would not be the same with out them. We are good here. The week has been busy trying to catch up with people before summer starts and people start to travel. We have house guests this week and the children could not be more excited. Two Jack Russel Terriers, Pauli and Becky are staying with us while there family is away for the week. Carley just pets them and loves on them and James loves to shriek and get excited. But they are really the greatest dogs. Well behaved, loving and very tolerant. Well I hope everyone is doing well and that you all enjoyed your Memorial Day weekend. We will talk to you soon.
Blessings.


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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Cambodia

Well Friends I just wanted to share my thoughts and pictures about my recent trip to Cambodia. It seems like ages ago that my friend Melissa and I boarded a plane with out any children or husbands and flew off to Cambodia for a long weekend. We went to Siem Reap which is the home to the temple complex of Angkor. We left before the sun rose on Friday and before I had even boarded the plane Brian called to tell me that Carley was throwing up and she wanted to talk to me. She was very brave and her daddy took great care of her. We arrived in the morning and went to check into our hotel. We stayed a small hotel called Shinta Mani http://www.shintamani.com , with only 18 rooms it was very cozy. But we enjoyed every minute of our stay there. The people were kind and the pool relaxing the food was good and the reflexology even better. The special thing about Shinta Mani is that they also have the institute of hospitality. Here they take villagers who do not have a skill and teach them the ins an outs of the hospitality trade. They do some interning in the hotel and then go out and get jobs elsewhere after they have gained some experience. It is a great program teaching people a valuable skill. The hotel also takes twenty percent of its proceeds and gives it back to the Cambodian people through outreach to poor people. I will tell you more about this later. After changing and stowing our luggage Melissa and I were off to explore the local market and grab some lunch. The market was a great place full of lots of local flavor and colors. This was a bit of a mixed market one that had souvenirs and everything one could need. We saw all types of fruit, veggies, meat, and seafood. You could by fabric, pharmaceuticals, diapers and shoes. You could get your hair done, your, pants hemmed and pick up some light bulbs all in an area that was one square block.





After doing some shopping, it was time for lunch. We had a great meal on the second floor balcony of a restaurant. The food in Cambodia is Asian but heavily influenced by the French. A delicious lunch finished we headed back to our hotel and took a short nap. Then we were picked up by our guide Kim. Kim is a Cambodian national who speaks perfect English and is very knowledgeable when it comes to the Siem Reap area.


First we headed out to Lake Tonle Sap. It covers about 1000 square miles in the dry season, but during the rainy season it grows to four times that size and rises over 10 meters. We took a tour of one of several "floating villages." Our tour guide told us that these villages were made up of groups of people mostly Vietnamese and that they moved there villages according to the lake, the fishing, and the seasons. Kim also said that these people were better off than the people living on land. They had a steady income fishing. Many of them had TVs and the village really had everything they could need.













It was amazing to see gardens and livestock kept out on this lake. Even a general store. Small children you would expect to see on bikes were motoring around on boats. One boat had two boys on it and the were quite the salesman. As we are motoring along the older boy positions there boat close and the younger boat jumps from their boat to ours. But the amazing thing is he is holding a small cooler full of cold drinks that he is trying to sell. We we said no he just hopped back to his boat and they moved on.






The picture to the left is one of the many schools we saw. There are classrooms on the bottom and the fenced in area at the top si the gym complete with basketball hoops and soccer goals.One group of larger boats were restaurants. We watched a man feed fish in a pen that they kept that nights dinner in. He also raised alligators for meat and hides.


There is even a place of worship. Here is the village catholic church. Ready to follow its congregation.



One more thought these trees that we passed on the way in will be covered with water in about a 45 days according to our guide. But they do not die. Amazing.












Once our trip on the lake was complete we got back in the car and drove over to the Angkor complex for sunset. Our guide suggested that we watch sunset from Pre Rup. Constructed in 961 it is believed to have been the center of the royal city of King Rajendravarman. The crazy part is you just climb up to the top. No fences no one stops you. The view from the top was amazing you can see the mountains in the distance and sunset was beautiful. It was back to town for dinner and bed. We were off to Angkor Wat the main temple for sunrise the next morning.










Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Handy Manny

I have gotten tired of the clutter. Here in South East Asia you do not wear shoes in side. So most of your shoes end up either just inside or just outside the door. I have a small shoe rack, but Carley's shoes do not fit and no that James is walking he will be getting shoes too. Plus we just end up with shoes piled everywhere. So Monday night we headed out to Ikea and bought a small wardrobe that will be our shoe cabinet. I am so excited. We also purchased a set of shelves for our room to try an reclaim the top of the dresser. We just seem to have stuff mostly book everywhere. Today the Ikea truck came and after lunch we played Handy Manny. In case you have not heard of him you obviously do not have kids in the 0-8 age range. Handy Manny is an animated Spanish Mr. Fix-it with tools that talk on Play House Disney. It is really a great show the kids get a good lesson and usually a little Spanish too. Needless to say we had a great time. Carley did some hammering and both she and James had their own tools and were excited about helping out. I hope you enjoy the shot.


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Monday, May 19, 2008

Look At Me

So I am home from an amazing weekend in Cambodia. We saw the temples of Angkor, went to a floating village on the lake, and went to visit a village. Cambodia is an amazing coutnry and I have so much to share including lots of pictures. But tonight I am tired and ready to veg. I know I know I just came hoem from vacation you say. But my friend Melissa and I were up by dawn for three out of the four mornings. We had early flights and I did not want to miss sunrise at the temples and it did not dissappoint. I came home today to a happy house. Brian did a great job, as i knew he would. Carley had a bout of stomach flu on Friday after I left and James is cutting some monster teeth, but everyone one was all smiles when I got home. But the biggest surprise is what James has mastered in four short days since I left. See the video below. videoC
Crazy since he has not even really tired to let go. I promise to get started telling about my trip tomorrow. Today just enjoy. Blessings

Leay Heuy (Pronounced Lay Hi means Good Bye In Cambodian.)

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Family Pictures




Here are some of our Family Pictures from Last weekend. Hope you Enjoy Them.




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Monday, May 12, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all the mom's out there, especially mine. I always knew my mom did a lot growing up, but I never had a true appreciation until I became a mother myself. I will say I got a glimpse of it after getting my first real job in Katy. Shortly after getting married and moving to Houston I got a job at Cinco Racnh High School as the assistant athletic trainer. After spending the last two years working with college athletes that were not much younger than myself to start working with kids in ninth and tenth grade and how can I forget the junior high football games was quite a shock to my system. Wow that first week I was ready to kill some teenagers. I remember one day I was really crazed by my students and I decided I needed to call my mom and apologize for being a teenager. Now don't get me wrong I loved the kids I worked with and many of them have grown into wonderful young adults who are getting ready to change the world. But I forgot how much drama goes into high school. Ultimately after having my own children I finally understand the sacrifice it truly is to be a mom. A mom the teacher, the cook, the housekeeper, the driver, the cheerleader, the nurse, the magician. Who knew you could be all of that and more.
We had a great weekend. On Friday Carley spent the night with some wonderful friends of ours. Robin and Tim Vaughn have adopted us here in Malaysia and they treat us like their children and my children like their grandchildren. Robin and Tim have four grown children in the US and a almost thirteen year old daughter named Ruth living with them here. Robin and Tim's grown children have given them seven and one on the way beautiful grandchildren to date, which they miss terribly. My children give them a chance to be grandparents locally. So to say that Carley had lots of fun would be an understatement. She got to go swimming, out to dinner, jump in the bouncy castle at the shopping center and when I checked in on her at bedtime she was in her pj's having some ice cream. Heaven. Really I can not tell you how blessed we are by the Vaughns. Robin and Tim sat with me during Brian's first surgery. They have us over for dinner and I always have an ear to listen. God is so good. Saturday we had family pictures taken by Nikki Wilson. She is so talented. I hope to post some pictures tomorrow. We had a blast and in the end got some amazing shots. Mother's Day was spent relaxing at the house. Brian even let me watch one of my favorite movies Ten things I Hate about you. It is a total high school movie but I love it. It makes me giggle. My mother's day present comes on Friday when I am off to Cambodia for a long weekend with a friend, no kids. I have a couple of good blogs in the works, but I am still trying to get a few more pictures. I hope that everyone is well and that you have had a wonderful weekend. Blessings.


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Monday, May 5, 2008

No Internet

Happy Cinco De Mayo
Thanks to a gracious friend i have Internet use for a few minutes. We have not had Internet at the house for a week. I am afraid that maybe they forgot to feed the squirrels. We have called several times and they can still not solve the problem. So I will get back to all of you as soon as possible. Please enjoy a cold one for me and do not forget the queso if you are celebrating today. Blessings to all of you.


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