Sorry it’s a little late today folks, it’s been pretty non stop but we’ve finally landed back at the hotel and so here’s some words from Vanshika and Nitya:
How was your first day living without your precious gems? It was more of a test for you guys than us for sure! Here is a small briefing on what we did on our second day.
Well for starters for the first time we got up by ourselves, without you guys constantly nagging on us to wake up on time. After having an early breakfast at 630 we headed for an hour and a half drive to Free The Bears Association. Living in Singapore life is so perfect for us that we were not aware of the other side of this picture perfect scenario. Well Cambodia surprisingly is divided into two parts – the extreme rich and the poverty stricken alley! The beggars practically sit on the roads with others trying hard to sell their products to feed themselves and their family.
It is a non-profit Australian based organization that deals with saving bears from being used for trade of body parts, exotic pet trade and human encroachment. Did you know that they cut of the paws of these poor bears to make bear soup!!! Mary in the year 1993 began this organization along with John Stephens in order to educate the people and save the bears from this cruelty. The two main bears they look after are Malayan Sun Bear and the Moon Bear.
One extremely different experience was for us to make goodie bags for the bears to play with. This is the enrichment process of these bears where in order for them to release their stress they get involved in many activities. We as the volunteers were allowed to take this tour by filling up bamboo sticks, balls and sacks with their favourite treats, fruits and vegetables. After that we were delighted to see their reactions when we gifted them their toys. It was so entertaining to watch a bear tear apart 3 bamboo sticks, less than a minute, and not sharing it with anyone else! Definitely a strong contender at the minute to win it games!!!
After lunch we surveyed around the place and saw many animals such as Gibbons, Civets, Lion, Tigers and Bears. Our favourite were the Gibbons, because they loved to show off their talents by swinging around the poles while grabbing onto their babies. Also think twice before you have coffee!!! Because we just got to know the coffees are made using the Civet’s(they look like a cross between a Daschund and a Racoon) poop! Oh and especially the expensive ones like Luwak Coffee.
The second day ended with a fantastic meal at the Romdeng. This organization works with the “Friends N Stuff” which gives a chance to “Street Youth” to develop their skills in different areas. In this case it was hospitality. The food was delicious, well presented and extremely pleasing, and was a perfect ending to the perfect day!
Now we, the sleepy heads, are ready to head off to bed and wake up tomorrow at 6 to begin a new journey for the day!
Vanshika and Nitya
So there you have it for todays update.
Tomorrow brings a change of pace with the morning at the bear sanctuary followed by a rather more sombre experience at ‘The Killing Fields’ in the afternoon. I expect this to have quite an impact on our group, many of whom have been questioning us about Cambodia’s more recent history.
We’ll be back to update everyone tomorrow, hopefully a little bit earlier!
Here’s a few photos in the meantime,
Team Little Planet