Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Cambodia Medical Voluntour Pt9


This particular day was not a good day for me.  My head cold had really taken hold giving me a nasty migraine.  I informed Tanya at breakfast that I would need to have a day off.  Really hated doing that but I really needed some downtime as well.

We were also going to the hotel we were supposed to be at.  They had rooms for all of us as the other volunteer teams had left.  Everyone else headed off to where they would be for the day, building and medical etc.  I crammed into the van with everyones luggage that was going to the other hotel.  It wasn't until I got there that I realised Jess was also taking the day off.  That meant two of us in crowd control were not available.

Sopheavy sitting on the luggage in the van

I had to wait for a while to get my room as they were still cleaning them.  When I finally got it they put the aircon on 16 degrees and added the ceiling fan to it as well.  Talk about freezing.  I turned the air con off and kept the fan going on low and the window and curtain closed.  My luggage was still downstairs underneath everyone  elses so I didn't have anything to do other than sleep.  Lucky I had a migraine tablet in my camera bag which I had with me.

I slept for most of the morning.  Come lunch time I desperately needed a cold drink and something to nibble on.  There was a Service Station not far away that was more like a western one (ie sold things other than just petrol).  This was on the other side of a very busy Y crossing in the road.  Boy did I get stared at.  Fat white chick walking down the road.  I was sure I was going to cause an accident due to someones inattention.  Thankfully I did not.

The Service Station was typically Western in it's prices as well.  I got myself a drink, some dry cookies and an ice cream.  Despite not feeling well I really didn't want to go back to the little, nothing to occupy myself with room, so I spent 5 minutes walking up to the bridge and taking some photos.

From this next photo you can see that the pathway on the bridge is narrow when you are a holding what the man has and are trying to pass someone.  He politely stopped so that could get a photo of the 3 monks coming up the other side.  He then started to motion to me and I thought he wanted to pass so I stepped back and indicated he could go and that he would not get in the way of my photos.  He walked passed, stopped, turned around, took his hat off and then posed.  I get it, you want your photo taken.  He probably thought I was indicating that the light was better if he was facing me from the other side.  He put on a smile on my face for the day.

I felt sorry for these pigs.  One is laying on its side and the other doesn't have room to stand properly so it has its leg up on the side of the one laying down.  It's almost like it's saying, "there, there, it's going to alright."

By dinner time I was feeling a lot better.  I had pretty much slept the afternoon away as well.  We all went to the Children's Village for dinner, and another yummy dinner it was.  We also finally managed to organise a hand over of the items in our second suitcase.  Mum had purchased a stack of clothes throughout the last 18 months to bring for the kids.  I had a couple of items in there for use in the school and I had also brought a flute that I was no longer using.  I had purchased it when my flute died but it didn't match up in quality so I never played it.  It was a $200 beginners flute so I really shouldn't have expected it would.

I brought it along after watching a video on Facebook titled Landfill Harmonics.  Pretty much in a country similar to Cambodia where kids work on the city dump to gather recyclable materials a wonderful thing has been happening.  Someone decided to teach them music.  They had a couple of violins but 50 students.  One day one of the locals decided to make a violin out of recycled rubbish form the tip.  From then on it blossomed into all types of instruments.  If you google Landfill Harmonic you will be able to see what they are up to.  Knowing that Cambodia was similar I though why not donate my flute.  Maybe one day, someone can make one out of trash. 

On a side story, while the house mothers were being organised to come down and mum sorted out the suitcase, I went with Tanya to see where my little girl lived.  They were in the middle of evening worship.  It was stinking hot in there.  They put on a show for us too with their singing.  They still hadn't finished when Tanya got a call to come back to the eating area as the house wives wished to thank me for the clothes.  Not sure why me as it was mum that had purchased them and I made sure they knew that when I got back.

This photo is of the house mothers with the clothes all laid out. They took them away to be sorted later.

Back to the flute.  It was the first thing Sokhun (in charge of the Village) pulled out of the suitcase and asked mum what it was.  She told him and asked if he knew someone who would be interested in it. He was on the phone straight away to one of the older students and told him to get down there straight away as something was happening.  This students name is Vichhai and his english is very good.  I found out from him later that he had been in the middle of praying to God for some direction when he got the call.  He had been feeling quite down in the dumps and when he was handed the flute he was so excited.  I didn't have long before we were leaving so I just took the mouth piece and showed him how to blow.  I explained how there are two sounds that you could make and before I could say how he asked if it was to do with the way you blew and changed your mouth.  I was impressed.  Within a couple of minutes he was getting the lower octave.  I was really happy as I really didn't know if handing the flute over would be worth it.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Cambodia Medical Voluntour Pt8

JANUARY 19 Extra

I forgot to mention in my previous blog that when I woke up that morning, I was not alone.  In my bed with me were two gecko eggs that were not there the night before.  Mum took them to show people but before she got out the door she dropped and broke one and somehow lost the other one.

Now lets go forward 2 weeks to when we are home.  The suitcase is in the front entrance about to be put away when mum finds this little guy.  Ok so I start to freak.  Did the egg fall in my suitcase? Have we brought in an illegal animal to Australia.  I posted this on facebook and hunted on line for images that looked similar.  Thankfully he was a West Aussie Marbled Gecko.  Probably needed to cool off after the heat wave outside.
Woke up feeling not so good on this day.  I was definitely coming down with whatever it is that mum had but thankfully not the gastro that others had. I got up in time though to make sure I got some photos of the beautiful sun rise.  These are just a handful of what I took and it was hard to decide which ones to show you. I took them from the platform that Margaret had been sitting on the morning before with the view across the lake.  While I was waiting for more colour to come it was interesting watching the ants walk across the railing.  Quite often they would lift their back legs and end section in the air and looked like minute walking 90 degree rulers.

 This is the view behind me.  That brick wall is a raised section containing the pool and the building behind is the room I was in.
The pool
I love the film grain feature on my camera.  I loved this shot but it needed something else.  Dennytza showed up then and became my model.

 Breakfast at this place was really yummy.  This is Sopheavy trying out someones tube of Vegemite.  :)

The clinic for today was at a Buddhist temple and we were all outside.  Thankfully there were some trees to offer shade.  I was bursting for the toilet when we arrived and they directed me through the Temple itself.  I had to take my shoes off first though.  I enter the temple in my white socks.  It is a large temple.  They take me to the back rooms which are concrete and then through an area which I am sure needed shoes, until we came to the toilet.  I noted that there was a door to the outside right there and I didn't need to come through the Temple shoeless. By the time I got back to my shoes my socks were damp and muddy and felt wonderful. 

Already waiting
 Kids having fun
After having 5 Drs in Phom Penh two did not look much and we worked them hard.
Jess (my partner in crowd control) had been quite sick but was back on duty today. Thankfully though there were a few extra people as well which helped. This meant that both Jess and I could concentrate on certain areas. I chose the Chiro line and the Drs. The heat was making me light headed so I sat on a chair between the two when I wasn't taking people places.
I love my chiro line.  Despite not being able to communicate we had a blast.  It was my job to keep them in order of who arrived.  I sat them down on the round concrete "wall" surrounding a tree.  As I would walk them over, they would go to sit anywhere, so I made sure that they sat at the end of the queue.  With big arm motions I made it clear that they were to shuffle around when someone got up.  Sometimes they didn't all do this and there would be gaps in the line which some new comers would try to fill.  This is where the fun and games started.  Those already sitting there knew I wanted the newbie to go to the end of the line.  If I was otherwise engaged thought they wouldn't say anything.  They would wait to see if I noticed someone new.  If I looked at them a little too long or I started to come over,  the ones that had been in line for longer suddenly decided they had a job to do and would inform the newbie that there was a line and they had to go to the end of it.  This happened many times.  Some I would catch as they were about to sit and the whole line would get in on it.
My Chiro line

Most of the line would be watching Jen to see what she was doing.  I quite often heard Jen exclaim, "you've been watching," because they would know what position to get into almost without being asked.  All but one guy that is.  This guy in the next photo did his best to try and impress me.  He was constantly standing up, bending forwards and backwards as if I needed to see is flexibility.  If I walked passed him he pretended to box and do other arm exercises.  He was waiting for just over an hour when it was his turn.  I heard Jen say "You haven't been watching like the others."  Yeah I know why.

Jen and her magical fingers

Someone found the tiger balm

 This is so wrong, I am hot sweating and sticky and this little thing is walking around in winter clothes.  I mean it is their winter but still!!! 

Kate doing a great crowd control job

This little cutie tried to help Jen out when she was working on a family member of his.
Here he is being held to stop him from "helping"
This mother and older sister were at this girls head for ages picking out lice.  The hygiene team did not come to the Temple as they went elsewhere so no kids were getting the lice treatment.  I found a box that contained lice soap and handed them to her.  There is nothing worse than being itchy itchy itchy.

 Mum working on a wound.  Her poor translator got really embarrassed once because he had to ask an older woman if she was still getting her monthly, did she have discharge ... and so on.

After lunch I needed to get out of the heat a bit.  The sun was giving me a not so nice migraine so I went and sat in the quiet of the Temple. It was wall to wall, floor to ceiling of paintings.  I wish I could read Khmer because I would love to know the stories with each picture. 

Did I say the Temple was quiet?  These little guys were everywhere twittering all over the place.  watch the video and you will hear them.
It got even noisier when these to came in so I went back out.

 The crowd waiting to go through Triage etc

At the end of the day, because we were outside, it was harder to tell people we were finished.  Once triage closed up the people rushed other areas in the hopes we would still see them.  Unfortunately we just did not have enough time to get through everyone at this clinic.
Vicky and Margaret at the end of the day with people pushing from behind to get help while they were packing up.

 Another itchy head
 Maureen moving on gate crashers at the Drs Station.

Crammed in the van like the locals

Doing our washing.  Gotta love the clothes line.

Back at the Children's Village for dinner.  They always put on a great meal for us.