Dispatch From Cambodia: Room to Read and Angkor Wat

MLSA domestic violence attorney Caroline Riss is in Cambodia as part of the Women’s Empowerment Exchange Program and has been blogging about her experience.

Thursday, August 23, 2012: Kompong Phluk, Cambodia – Floating Village

Caroline and Room to Read participantsToday I had the very special opportunity to perform site visits with the NGO “Room to Read.” The site visits were intended to check in with the 9th grade girls that were receiving scholarships for secondary school from “Room to Read.” The scholarships are  provided for girls who cannot afford to attend secondary school. The site visits took place at Kompong Phluk which is a floating village outside of Siem Reap, Cambodia. The floating village is only accessible by boat in the rainy season and children get to school via boat as well.  I went with the Room to Read staff and spoke with young girls and their parents. We were able to go in the homes of the girls and listen to their stories and struggles. Cambodian building on stilts Most of the people in Kompong Phluk are fishmen and tour guides for the tourists. Amusing Planet says that “The houses of Kompong Phluk are built on top of wooden poles and stilts between six and eight meters high and tower over the boats moored along the river, which snakes through the village before heading out into the Tonle Sap lake. In the wet season, the Tonle Sap Lake is one of the largest freshwater lakes in Asia, swelling to an expansive 12,000 square km.”This was a truly amazing experience, I have never seen a floating village, and I hope my photos share the exceptional nature of this place!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Today I spent my last full day in Cambodia touring the famous Angkor Wat temples- the largest Hindu temple in the world. It was truly an amazing experience. We visited the following temples:

Angkor Wat Temples It was exciting to visit sites built in the 10th, 11th and 12th centuries. I was astonished by the detail and vastness of the sites – truly a wonder! UNESCO declared Angkor Wat a World Heritage Site in 1992.