Staying in the Village

On Monday night we spent the night at Prom Kod, one of the villages in the Balang Commune. We were working on site that day until pretty late so by the time we showed up at the village it was already dark but Mean Someth was there with a huge smile to welcome us. We were directed to wash our feet at the well then we were brought into the house and served dinner. As we ate it looked like more and more people were coming to the porch to watch us eat so I took a picture and the flash illuminated an entire audience of smiling, curious villagers staring at us take every bite of our dinner.

We woke up early in the morning to the sound of farm animals then packed up and Someth led us back towards the site. On the way we climbed up to an ancient Angkorian ruin called Chao Seri Vibowl next to Wat Trach, a Buddhist pagoda. A small group of villagers arrived shortly after to pray. Someth sat down with them to explain who we were and the project we are working on. As we left the pagoda we bowed to the villagers and they smiled and thanked us. Tobias later explained to us that Someth grew up in Balang then left to start an NGO in Siem Reap and now has an almost celebrity status amongst the local villagers.

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