When I first arrived, there were two volunteers around, plus an intern and a dive instructor. Cami (American/ Italian) and Ceri (Welsh/Londoner) were the volunteers. Cami had been on the island for almost a month by the time I arrived. At that point she had done a lot of teaching English, but not much coral reef surveying. She only overlapped with me for a week. We tried to get some surveying in before she left, but weren't terribly successful. Cami moved on to do other volunteer work in Phnom Penh.
|Cami and BJ (photo by Ceri)|
|Ceri teaching the kids how to brush their teeth.|
|Child transportation in Koh Rong. Thanks, Daniel. Nid misses you dearly. Now she has to walk. (photo by Ceri)|
|From left to right: Declan, Ceri, Kylie, and Daniel. The beer is called Klang, which means "strong"|
In my final week, Tina arrived from the UK. She's Swedish, but she's going to school at Cambridge in the UK. Fortunately, she lived in the US to learn, as she said, "proper English" before moving to the UK. I really enjoyed using that line with the other two Brits.
|Ceri (hiding a cigarette), Declan and Tina|
|Tina and Ceri watching a heavy rainstorm from their window (not jail)|
Three times a day, Rim would cook us meals. I hadn't considered fried rice for breakfast, but I quickly came to enjoy it. By the way, Nid, from previous posts, is the daughter of Rim and Mr. Dam (the nicest guy on the island, who really would encourage people to Dike! Dike!).
|Rim moving charcoal for our meal. (the charcoal was like my alarm clock, it choked me out of bed each morning)|
|Nid and Rim (phot by Ceri)|
The "boys" that took care of us and ran the boat all looked younger than they were. Mr. Dot was the go-to guy for all kinds of things. He often saved us when we needed to say something in Khmer or needed to understand what someone was saying. He helped with our teaching by translating for us at times and he kept our SCUBA tanks full. Plus, Mr. Dot had some stylish shirts. Actually, almost all of the guys did. My ragged button up shirts could not compare.
|The stylish Mr. Dot|
|Even in swim trunks Mr. Dot may sport a slick shirt. I was definitely the worst dressed guy around...except for Kylie.|
|Mr. Dot writing the Khmer for one of our lessons.|
An interesting note: Our staff along with their friends and many of the other villagers, including babies and children all wore facial bleaching cream, typically at night. I'm not sure of the origin of this, but I assume that sunscreen would be more effective and, perhaps, cheaper.
|One of the boys washing off his facial bleaching cream.|
Two dogs "lived" with us. Katie, who belonged to Mr. Dam and Rim and was impregnated by BJ. I once saw Katie go to the bathroom on the boardwalk and then run madly around as a worm hung from her anus. She ran straight through our house yelping and swinging a tapeworm with a little feces attached. Maybe retelling this story is why Ceri was so worm-obsessed.
|This woman loved BJ and Katie and they loved her. Their arteriosclerosis may also be from her.|