Chong Koh

October 28th, 2012 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

Saturday morning we went to a small Cambodian village – around 1,000 population.

This is the local school. Kids attend school six days a week, but only in the mornings.

And the local kids are well used to having the tourists come through. We learnt a few words of the local dialect, and as usual donated goods to the school. They have an excellent culture here on encouraging you not to give money etc to individual kids, but to give to schools.

While is a poor country, I have to say the kids appear pretty happy and education is deemed important. I think there’s a lot worse places you could grow up, in the developing world.

The local padoya or temple. I was amazed that even a small village such as this has a padoya, let alone such a grand one. It seems only the smallest of villages will not have one.

Very patriotic country – you see Cambodian flags flying everywhere – many houses have one.

A family riding on their motorcycle. A very common sight to see kids on them with adults, and looking like they are having the time of their lives. Cambodia is not quite so motorcycle heavy as Vietnam though.

Five on one bike was a record I think. Reminds me of the days when I managed around ten people in a medium sized car!

The main road through the village – few are sealed outside the cities.

A tapestry making machine. It’s made entirely out of wood and powered by foot pedals, so anyone could make one and go into business for themselves – as this family have done. Real innovation.

The upstairs of their house. This is a medium type residence. Not very poor or very rich. One mattress behind the curtains, as most sleep on the bamboo floor.  However note behind the pole is a flatscreen TV and a stereo system.

We hadn’t used this gangway before. Most are solid metal constructions. This was two planks, and rope hand rails. Definitely one at a time.

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7 Responses to “Chong Koh”

  1. Redbaiter (8,032 comments) says:

    “I have to say the kids appear pretty happy”

    No welfare to destroy them.

    Its the happiness that comes from being independent, a mindset that is growing increasingly rare here in NZ.

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  2. Ricardo (54 comments) says:

    “Reminds me of the days when I managed around ten people in a medium sized car!”

    I hope they were all girls David.

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  3. BigFish (132 comments) says:

    In Cambodia 1 in 10 kids die before their fifth birthday – it would seem health and welfare safety nets provide some value. http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/cambodia_66038.html
    Interestingly, most kiwi kids also appear pretty happy.

    And it’s a mistake to equate lack of welfare with independence.
    http://thediplomat.com/asean-beat/2012/10/24/human-rights-plague-cambodias-un-bid/

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  4. pq (728 comments) says:

    My observation next door country Thailand to Farrar, is that these kids from poor villages are happy.
    I am seeing it every day in Thailand.
    Their main advantage appears that they seem to have a continuous ongoing relationship and
    understanding with all people in the village.
    The children boys are not aggressive, and they are under almost constant supervision from elders.
    The schools have direct back up fro parents.
    The families seem to take absolute responsibility for themselves.
    When a Westerner like me comes in theay naturally look for some help,

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  5. pq (728 comments) says:

    we have David Farrar for the most liberal blog site that was ever introduced to NZ

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  6. Liberal Minded Kiwi (1,568 comments) says:

    Take your meds pq.

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  7. Bob (496 comments) says:

    Looking at the family on the motor scooter reminded me of the same sights in Thailand. There it is mainly 100cc motorbikes. The first time I saw a family of 4 without helmets on one I thought it would give a Kiwi traffic cop apoplexy.

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