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Back on this Trotting Horse!

10/18/2009

This post is long overdue and I apologize! Seriously, I had meant to update everyone during the week of my arrival from Cambodia/ Hong Kong.  However, I didn’t realize several events were in line nearly everyday and an unexpected, disturbing wave of imbalance in life arrived. For now, I can push it all aside and get back on the horse.

First, the vacay to the motherland, Cambodia, was not absolutely relaxing until the very last week. This was because we were trying to visit every place possible for the first-time visitors to see. Yet, it was a fulfilling first week in Cambodia. We were able to visit a temple for a ceremony and directly donate money and ‘sarongs’ to the villagers.

One of the Village Children

Donating Money

I’m so happy we were able to have contribute to those smiles on their faces.

Smiles on the villagers faces makes you feel content

Leading a walk in the temple:

Me, Leading a Ceremony Walk

Along with getting a glimpse into the lives of these villagers, my family and I came across the smallest house we’ve ever seen. An old lady sat in the doorway and my aunt immediately felt the urge to help. The whole bus went in a frenzy to find Tylenol, food, sarong, and money for her. When my cousin and uncle came up to her door and explained themselves, she told us how she cannot afford food and was usually only able to eat when her neighbors offered some to her. Can you imagine living day to day like that?  I’m reminded of how fortunate we all are here, not only because of opportunities and nice —or even just decent— homes, but also for simple things like water, napkins, beds, and healthy sanitary practice.

Giving back is a beautiful thing, especially when you see where it is being given to and when you actually feel the sense of how grateful those people are to have been helped. I had mention this to a few but maybe I shall share it here to make things more ‘official’.  Once my online shop is open, I’d love to contribute to those less fortunate. Inspired by this trip and by my parents, who had lend their hands and money to reopen a school in Cambodia a few years ago, I’m looking into a charity or some program to donate to—most likely ones directly helping the needy in third world countries or ones that help improve schools in these countries. I’ve been doing some research on and off. If anyone knows of any, I’d appreciate it if you can LEAVE A COMMENT and I’ll be looking into it! Thanks!!

Other than this experience, I was able to revisit the ruins of Cambodia, eat exotic fruits, relax in the ubiquitous hammocks hung in huts, and visit the beaches. Cities/ Villages visited includes: Koh Kong (Kong Island), Kampong Saom, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Baray, Battambang, and a few other areas.

So much has change in three years in Siem Reap. Honestly, it was better three years ago. Why? Well, there is so much restoration and walkway renovation going on. Thus, lots of ugly restriction zones. We were able to go through the ruins more freely in 2006/2007. I feel that now it is too much about the money and too little about the education. However, it’s still a site that absolutely stops you in silent wonderment.

Bayon

sweet sticky rice in banana leaves.

Angkor Wat

David and the Insane tree growing over one of the ruins

Walking Past the Carved Murals of Angkor Wat

Outside our Hotel in Koh Kong- The Ocean

One of my favorite stop:

This is my grandma’s childhood house in Battambang, which is now over 100 years old! It’s still amazingly in great condition, and during its time it was one of the ‘upper class’ homes (grams was such a lucky girl). It has became somewhat of a tourist sightings now. Visitors can relax at the many huts that is scattered in the yard and pick a variety of fresh fruits from the trees. Do I sound like I’m advertising?

Grandma's Childhood Home

Inside the house, there are many antiquated household objects that are as old as the house, such as chests, elaborate mirrors, drawers, paintings, and this iron (it can either give you an eerie feeling or puts you in a state of fascination):

Old Iron from my Grandma's early years!

One of the many huts around the huge yard. They came in all different sizes, some with walls and some without walls (I totally do sound like I’m promoting some vacation spot)!

NIK_0481

Wanna go to Starbucks?

Starbucks?

I’d have to say, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, and Macau reminds me of another busy city in the U.S. I met two wonderfully hilarious people on this trip, a mother and daughter , whom I hope to remain in touch with. Even in the middle of typhoon season, we were able to gallivant around HK with our cheap plastic ponchos provided by our tour guides. I was thankful to have not gotten sick even with wet socks on my feet all day, which is quite rare for this weak immune system of mines. Unfortunately, the insane rain in China didn’t allow me to take any post-worthy photos.

Now, BACK TO THE USA! And look what came in the mail when I arrived home:G.G., GIA

Couldn’t attend any ceremony for it, but that’s alright. I’m happy it’s alllll done with! Woot!

Right after this, I finally was able to order those business cards I designed with the bf! It will be something like this:

Marida_BizCrd

Like I have said earlier, I couldn’t exactly get back into my rhythm until recently when Linne from Linne’s Boutique gave me a call saying her store was ready to get new pieces from me! It was a bit of a success at Linne’s Boutique! This time, I really want to send out my items with the full on packaging. I’ve already got my earring cards and hang tags designed and will have it printed by two etsy designers, pixelbypixel and scrapbits, who were quick in responding to my needs!  Also, boxes are soon to be ready! I hope to finish a few other tasks before hitting up other boutiques, which I saved for last because I find them so tedious!

hangtags

photo courtesy of scrapbits

No earring card preview! Maybe next time?

I’ll stop with the photo-filled post for now. I should be working.

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