No shops? How do you buy things?

In CategoryJohns blog

This is a collection of 35 photos of how things are sold in and  around our villages. Some of of the photos are new and others are from earlier posts and sections within this website. I took the spider photos in Kompong Cham province, the frog photo in Kratie town and there is also Prey Veng Market which is our nearest large town 90 minutes away by motor bike.

First, you have to understand just how basic our villages are. This is how we cook in the house where I live. There is no running water or mains electricity. In this house I have installed one solar panel for lights at night. I’ve installed a toilet in the house and the ladies do the laundry on the toilet floor.  Mostly, fish aren’t bought, they are caught. This is a photo which you’ll also find in the village life section. As water recedes from the irrigation holding dams the children feel for tiny fish and snakes. The man with the white electric stick is there to kill snakes that bite the children.  Those small fish are then gutted and salted to supply family protein.  With good planning, some fish are kept to grow. This is Chanthou in June 2014 washing fish with ground water pumped into large pots. These pots also take rain water.  This photo is also in the Village Life section. Nat prepares rice for cooking.

 If you know this website well, you will know that there are many photos of rice planting, growing and harvesting – so our families don’t have to buy their source of carbohydrate – rice – everyone grows it. In this earlier photo the man is walking past our second school building carrying hundreds of rice seedlings ready for planting.

Next – some photos of our various home grown tuck shops at the schools.

 This was taken on the opening day of the Prey t’Baing (Antibes School) School. The tuck shop, run by mums, was set up BEFORE the school opened.

 Several small tuck shops at the larger Chuor Ph’av Schools.


 Families set up small shops usually right next to or inside their house selling whatever they can – but very little. (this is Kamau who features in the village children section.)

 This shop in Chuor Ph’av is right next to the family bed – used as the ‘office’ during the day.

 In the three ‘ant’ photos the children show us how to eat ants. These are sugar ants and are naturally sweet. Indeed and fortunately a lot of the village food is ‘free’ – weeds growing in water courses, all manner of insects from ants to cockroaches and crickets; and frogs and tiny fresh water crabs.

 Deep fried frogs for sale in the town of Kratie.

 and deep fried tarantulas. What do they taste like – chicken? …. No, they taste like tarantula!

All towns have a market (phsar). This is PreyVeng Market –

  In this second photo taken at Phsar Prey Veng (Prey Veng Market) there is a row of barbers. People in our villages cut each others hair. The barbers in towns cost about 50 cents.

The next few photos are goods being taken to market or in some instance brought to the villages to sell directly.


We could fill the website with pictures of vast loads being carried on small motorbikes.. Here is just one – Bananas on the way to market.

People on bicycles and motor bikes come to our villages to sell, ice cream (frozen condensed milk), pork, chicken and beef – all covered in flies with no refridgeration of course, pots pans, clothes, material – everything imaginable.

 (these kitchen ware and tin smith photos were taken in May 2014). In the right lower corner of the photo above is a motorbike with a plain wooden box, selling raw pork.

 here is a close up of the raw pork box on the back of a motorbike. He also sells some vegetables. It was 35 degrees centigrade that afternoon.

 thousands of these in Cambodia – a sidecar to a small motorbike. Crushing sugar cane to make drinks mixed with a bit of flavouring and condensed milk.

  hand made knives and axes on sale in our villages April 2014.

 two stroke petrol for motorbikes is for sale from small Pepsi bottles. Sadly petrol costs what it costs elsewhere in the world so in our villages one litre of petrol is the equivalent of  a full days wages for a family.

And the last photo today – in our villages – the travelling raw tobacco salesman. Checking the weight herself, the lady buys one kilogram of cigarette tobacco for US$1… Yes One dollar…. and no it doesnt encourage everyone to smoke. I know few people in Cambodia who smoke and almost no young women who smoke.

 This photo has appeared before on the site. I took it at the house where I stay in the villages. I hope you have enjoyed this little collection of ‘things for sale in the villages’.

In late August I’ll give you a full update from the villages – particularly progress with the GUESTHOUSE for visitors and volunteers. We have spent some months, first buying and preparing the land and then slowly but surely buying the wood, sand, cement and tiles ready to start building. Building has started!






Chalk and Peery’s first day at school.

In CategoryJohns blog

Happy First Day of the Month.

Our Schools are trialing an old way of learning to write in the childrens  first year – with  chalk and boards. Chalk boards. Firstly the child can copy shapes with big strokes and secondly the teacher with a large class can see all the chalk boards at a glance from the front but still walk around for all the individual help.



Peery’s first day at School.

Children don’t usually start school till age 5 or six but there is no set rule and remember that ‘school’ is new and OWNED by our community.

Nang’s daughter Peery is four years and seven months but so eager to go to school.

Look through Peery’s day –  in the line up Peery is the one with her hair in bunches and a hair band.

Many of you now know ‘Nang’s story’ –  (If not or if you are new to the site, you wont regret looking through the section to your left on the website screen named ‘Nangs Story” – In deed this next set of photos is not only here in the Blog but it is today added to ‘Nangs Story’.

The fact is that time and time again Nang should not have survived. Its not only a miracle time and again that Nang is alive and a wonderful mother but Peery too is lucky to be alive.

In the photos you see Peery’s very first morning at school, being cared for by another old friend, Chanthay (brick teddy bear girl in sections re village children).

Then to finish there are the photos of Peery arriving home to show her mum, Nang, her chalkboard – and TOGETHER they will learn because as for all our mothers, there was no school for Nang.

If nothing else, these last few photos of Nang with Peery are VERY rewarding.

 Peery lined up outside on her first day. White head band.


And now, at the end of the day, Peery, proud Peery, returns home to Nang with her chalk board. (Remember all this last set of ‘Peery’ photos are now added to ‘Nangs Story’ in the sections to your left.


At the end of the month we’ll post photos and a story of things for sale in our villages. John.