We are winding up (or down) in Kampot. Our stay at The Columns has been very pleasant – recommended. Today was a long stint, starting with a visit to a fishing village, a targeted stroll around town and finishing with a visit to another Muslim village. The village was incredible. Without exception the people are warmly welcoming and we spent maybe 90-120 minutes entertaining the children as Gary flew his GPS controlled helicopter. They had clearly never seen such a thing before. They went wild and the small group expanded faster than my waistline until we had maybe 30 or 40 children and teenagers screaming with excitement and joy. At the end we distributed woven bracelets that we had bought in Phnom Penh and a few candies (not too many). We also promised photos of the visit. Who benefited more from the afternoon I don’t know but Steve had them all chanting “I love Cambodia” by the time we left. The conditions in which these children live would scare us, I promise you. Yet they show no signs of greed, envy or sadness at their lot in life. Their clothing is spectacularly colourful too. If only we could see Islam through this lens a little more frequently our prejudices might change – and of course the reverse applies. The essentials of life are very few and basic and laughter is infectious.
We also had a few accidents as no less than 4 of the 8 of us dropped our cameras. I led with my M9 being saved by the aluminium lens hood. You get what you pay for. It functions perfectly still, with just a few dents on one corner of the hood. Gary was less fortunate as his Monochrom M went under water and is currently being dried out in the hope it might work again tomorrow. The other two cameras also survived their falls.
Kampot is not a busy town but what it lacks in energy it compensates with colour. I took these this morning:
They are very different from my standard output. Here are a few others that are less colourful.