For those of you who dont know: 7 years ago Livia Smiesna (from university) spent 6 months in Cambodia teaching English in a village called Srah Srang. When I told Livia that I was going to Cambodia she immediately told me this story and said I have to visit this village because apart from the occasional email, she hadn't seen or spoken to the them since. So of course I said I would, being how close it was to Siem Reap and Angkor Wat. Livia then gave me a package containing a letter, photos, money and clothes to deliever when (or if) I found them. This present have been in my bag, wrapped for the whole 11 weeks prior, every opening of my bag reminding me of my task.
Well yesterday, on the last day of my Angkor ticket, at the last place I visited - Srah Srang Lake... I found them.
I took out the photos outside Banteay Kdei temple to ask if anyone recognised the Cambodians in the pictures and within minutes I was surrounded by about 20 people all shouting Livia's name and telling me how they were taught by her. Then as the afternoon when on I was shown to the village and met the people in the photos, who had all aged or grown up and they invited me to stay for dinner. So as the evening progressed the family - of more than 30 people it seemed, everyone being someone elses cousin or aunt - said a friend of Livia was a friend of theirs and asked me to stay until the Buddist New Year (2 weeks away - April 14th). So alas, as of tomorrow Thomas Havell from England is moving into a Cambodian village to live as they do. They live right next to the lake where amazing sunsets seem to happen every night and i'll be sleeping in the same spot as Livia did 7 years ago. They are an amazingly happy, helpful & generous family and I honestly dont think i've met nicer people than them - and this is after 1 day.
Because of all these happenings, I obviously wont be in contact for the 2 weeks im there - unless I come back to Siem Reap for a few days which is a possibility, but im kinda looking forward to being emersed in Cambodian living and culture. But we shall see. This then, is a goodbye for now but know that I am in very good hands. Expect to see me outside Ankor Wat selling water alongside the Cambodian children, "you wanna buy some war-der?" X