Posted by: Simon & Becci | October 12, 2011

Amongst the paddy fields

A warm arrival

Yesterday we had our second chance to venture out of Phnom Penh as we travelled 4 hours out into the provinces (and back) to visit an orphanage. The trip was arranged by Crispin Fairbairn who is part of Grace Church Caversham and who is visiting Cambodia for a few days. Crispin and a few others helped establish the orphanage a few years ago and continue to provide financial support via their UK charity “Hope Asia“.

It was a fascinating trip. The journey took us through mile after mile of rice paddy fields and then mile after mile of rubber tree plantations. Quite a contrast to the pollution, dust and sprawl of humanity within Phnom Penh. The most startling aspect was seeing the impact of the heavy rains. Paddy fields need a lot of water but sadly the rains this year have caused thousands of acres of farmland to be completely flooded, with some of the rice crop ruined. There were stretches when it was like driving on a low bridge over a massive lake – water as far as the eye could see.

Flooded paddy fields....

....and what they should look like

We passed through dozens of villages where all of the wooden houses are built on stilts to avoid the challenges of rising flood water. Veggie Tales fans among you will be pleased to hear that in some of these villages it is literally the case that “everyone’s got a water buffalo” which people put to work ploughing fields and pulling carts.

A difficult trip for the postman

A typical provincial house

Upon arrival at the orphanage in late morning we were treated to an hour or so of the children performing various Khmer dances dressed in traditional costume which was a great joy and privilege to behold. There are around 60 children who live there, aged between 5 and 18, most with sad and challenging backgrounds but who are now being cared for well and receiving care, education and support to help them have a brighter future.

Becci with some new friends




  1. So interesting looking at your photos. Would appreciate some more of how people live in the town too. Much love to you both.

  2. Thanks so much for the update – it’s lovely to see pictures. What fantastic children. God bless them and those caring for them.

  3. Wow! Looks like you guys are having quite an adventure!! Not sure about the deep fried frog though, think I’d rather go for Becci’s amazing salmon and sauce, mmm…. Take care!

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