Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Visit to the Tonle Sap

My host uncle, who I don't really think of as my uncle, as it's a teacher at the school and is close to our age, bundled up his whole family in a van and we all headed off to Siem Reap to watch him get engaged.

A lot of marriages in Cambodia are arranged and that makes me sad, but this one wasn't. They both used to work at the same NGO in Siem Reap town, and they've been together for years. The time was finally right to finalize the engagement.  His fiancee is from a town which during the rainy season is only accessible by boat as it floods. We went at the beginning of the rainy season, so luckily it was still dry. The town was amazing. It was just one long road of houses that made up the whole village, and all of the houses are built on huge stilts.




 The house we went to was probably 20 feet off the ground and last year the Tonle Sap flooded so high, they had water in the house.

The below picture is a "layman" from the buddhist temple who came with us to ask the girls family for permission for my host uncle to marry their daughter.

 Above is both parents taking part in the ceremony with the layman chanting over them.
Below is the happily, newly engaged couple.
 After the engagement was all settled we all packed into the van on the insanely hot day and drove to the edge of the Tonle Sap. We went and relaxed in a fisheries building which was supported by bamboo poles underneath it, allowing it to float as the lake swells. If you look in the picture below you can see the outline of a floating village.
 Oh and as a little extra bit, look what Hal was able to capture through the floor boards of the house, about 25 feet down.
 A lot of families in Siem Reap raise crocodiles, they raise them to sell their eggs, or small babies. They can sell one baby crocodile for $18, which is quite a bit of money here. Sometimes they sell older ones to Thailand where they will use their skin.

3 comments:

Kell said...

I still can't believe all the things you get to see and experience! I can't imagine being in that house when the area is all flooded, but I think it'd be kinda (kinda!) cool to experience. For a day.

Mama Rachel said...

The crocodiles under the house are SUPER scary!!! O.o

Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

Ummm so this maybe crazy to ask but when the area floods where are the crocodiles?!?! I mean they can swim around so if water was in the house does that mean they go in too?? ekkkkk

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