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14 Aug 2002


Later in the afternoon we took the car through the village to visit the local temple a couple of kilometres away. In Pol Pot's time, most temples were destroyed and many monks were killed. Since then there has been a revival and even the poorest community will find money to (re)build their temple and support the monks. Every day the younger monks parade through the streets in their saffron robes, stopping to bless individual houses and shops and receiving food in return. After seeing the temple, Rith's mother wanted to take us across country so we sent Mony back with the car and walked home through fields and farms. It's Sunday and it's hot, so there's not too much work being done. Whole families sat underneath their stilt houses, sheltering from the sun. We stopped to buy a peculiar vegetable from a family on a small boat; it's a long grass-like plant which grows in the river and we have never seen it before. Rith and his mother seemed to know everyone, so there were many hellos to say. But back at the house it's time to say farewell; the family assembled to see us off and we promised to return one day, a promise we will keep.