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19 July 2002
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We have been asked several times by the factory to get involved in a computing project in Svay Rieng province, but kept putting it off as it was do with the provincial government rather than schools. In any case, we have plenty to do around Phnom Penh. Finally we relented and agreed to do a needs analysis for them, so today we accompanied the factory boss and doctor on the trip along Highway No.1 toward the Vietnam border. It's a nice run, though the road is in an awful condition, looking for all the world as if it's just been bombed. We arrived in the sleepy little provincial capital town (also called Svay Rieng) around eleven-thirty and were taken for lunch. Hotel rooms had thoughtfully been booked for us to rest for a couple of hours, but Ming, Sandra and I went to the local market instead. Not many white faces had been in there before I'd say from the looks and smiles we got! At 2 p.m. we drove all of fifty yards from our hotel to the government offices down the road, where we were ushered straight in to see Mr Hun Heng, the governor of the province, who also happens to be the Prime Minister's brother. Perhaps this was not the simple little project that we had envisaged...