Bits and pieces

November 22, 2013

Without a great deal to write about at the moment, I think I’ll go back to a bit of a round-up of little things that have occurred to me in the past few days, rather than the trenchant political analysis you may have become used to.

Although the opposition CNRP is still refusing to take its seats in parliament, much to everyone’s deepening despair.

It seems like the party is simply holding out for the hell of it, and unless its takes up the seats it justly won back in July, it is doing its voters a disservice. I believe that the ruling party has many questions to answer about the conduct of the election, but the CNRP cannot reasonably expect any gains now; most countries have endorsed the results, and people want to get back to business. But the CNRP is calling for more demonstrations next month: most of the country is getting mightily irritated.

As a measure of quite how crap things can be here, Cambodia (population 15 million) just lost a game of football to Guam (population 159,000).  Not the country’s finest hour.

On the block on which I live, which is, admittedly, fairly central, three new boutique hotels have opened in the past three months, which is a pretty impressive indication of the current speed of change in Phnom Penh. The hotels look pretty nice, although the one opposite our house has a live outdoor band in the evenings, and they fill the night air with syrupy saccharine-sweet Khmer music until the small hours, which is something I could do without. Blossom is seriously unamused. They also advertise that one of their restaurant’s specialities is frog porridge, which is entirely disgusting. I haven’t been in yet.

Frog porridge

I went out today to the site of the amazing CamKids school near Kompong Speu, a couple of hours outside Phnom Penh. They were staking out the site of a new classroom building, and I was there to record the event for the man in America who has, incredibly generously, offered to pay for it all. It is hugely necessary, as the school now has 250 children who get educated, fed, taught basic hygiene, given access to medical care and dental work, given a school uniform and, when they graduate to big school, given a bicycle so they can get themselves there.

Before the school opened, in March last year, none of these kids would have gone to school at all. It is humbling to play even the tiniest part in the transformation of the lives of these kids, and to see their happy little faces. Most of them don’t want to leave the school, and some even try and sleep there at night, as they love it so much. So if you fancy doing something wonderful for Christmas, consider giving CamKids a few quid.  You’d be making a big difference.

Kids playing at the CCC school

Kids playing at the CCC school




2 Responses to “Bits and pieces”

  1. Catherine Klingel said

    Would love to do that Rupert…how do we do that?

  2. Nicola said

    Love the last 2 paragraphs – and the picture! Can you post the other pictures on the Camkids facebook page for us all to see. Definitely coming back to stay – who could resist the Frog Porridge. Happy Anniversary for yesterday – 17 years amazing!!

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