(This is not a Travel Blog. You won’t get any travel advice, driving tips, food guide in this blog. Watching the news, I simply remembered. And felt compelled to write this piece for those who have shown me kindness and impressed me with their dignity as a people, no matter the circumstances.)
Flood water rising at the Lake. So many lives lost. My heart goes out to you, kind people from Siem Reap, Cambodia.
The same typhoon ravaged our country and took property and lives along its path. Nature on a warpath. We stayed home, waiting for the storm to subside, glued to our TV screens. Watching, our hearts ached. We remember.
The kindness. The hospitality. Vanak, our tour guide. The boat men who took us along a cruise of the TonLe Sap Lake’s Floating Village. The lady who sold us all those shawls. The children playing with their dogs, as they hopped from board to board in that floating village. I even wonder about the crocodiles tended in that floating store cum restaurant. Did they escape from those cages as water rose? Or how about the ancient temples we climbed, or rather crawled up and down in Siem Reap? How we even managed to lose someone in our group when we visited Angkor Wat!
I dread to think what happened to them. To Vanak, our most efficient, kind and cheerful tour guide.
I pray that they can rebuild their floating village.
I wonder if the floating schoohouses cheerfully painted in white and blue are still there.
The little children who have mastered the art of hopping from one floating house to the next. Effortlessly. Along with their dogs who’d hop along, just as cheerfully.
The largest fresh water lake in Southeast Asia. And the largest freshwater floodplain, depending on the time of year. You see, Tonle Sap Lake dramatically floods and drains itself depending on the water flows which happen twice a year. I really hope they can all recover from this worst flooding in many years. God bless them. God bless us.