An Intrepid Tour Leader
by Marlo Perry
20. Street Kids
12 November 2005
Hope you have been well and happy since I last got my fingers on the keyboard and sent out an "I am not dead email". Things have been happening a plenty since as well. I survived the Vietnam bike trip (excellent fun) and was then asked to run some charity bike trips but my boss wouldn't let me off the schedule so I was a little angry for awhile there but I should be up and running those early next year (fingers crossed).
I then did a whole series of back to back to back to back to back to back week long Cambodia trips and nearly went nuts as I sat on the bus along Cambodia's worst road for the twentieth time in one month - 8 hours to drive 150km!! Crazy country.
I thought I would improve my Khmer language skills and I can now read Khmer script, very impressed with myself there. Also less than 50% of the Cambodian population is literate so that means I can read better than most Cambodians - scary thought!
I spent some time helping out in a new drop in center for the street kids in Siem Reap. Great fun, the kids would drag me off to go swimming each day which was in the river than runs through town. A river that every man and his dog throws his rubbish into. One of the kids was waving me over to dive in as another was having a piss straight into the water. I told them I couldn't swim!
Actually the centre has been a great experience. It is run by an Australian lady who has a Khmer husband. She is having a little trouble controlling the kids as the place is brand new. It is only open during the day as the kids parents force them to go and beg for money from tourists at night and she knows if she starts opposing that the parents wont let them come at all.
Also one of the kids was kidnapped from the market whilst I was there. She was missing for over two weeks - there is a big human trafficking ring in Cambodia so it was very possible she was taken and sold off to a brothel in Thailand. However two weeks after she disappeared she turned up again saying that "the Vietnamese" had kidnapped her. Cambodians blame the Vietnamese for everything but everyone is happy she is back with her family.
I am currently on my favourite trip - the four countries in four weeks loop. I have a trainee along as well so I can be really slack and get him to do most of the work. Christmas I should be in Bangkok and New years will be in Bangkok as well.
However on the 1st of January I am meant to travel with the group on THAT road - 8 hours 150km bumpy as anything not a great way to start the year!
Off to Lao
About the Author
Marlo Perry is a Group Leader for the Australian based tour operator, Intrepid Travel.
1. The Apprentice... 2. Trip One... 3. Half Way... 4. Tet... 5. Monkey Business... 6. Quick Turnaround... 7. Thai New Year... 8. Angkor... 9. Bangkok... 10. It Depends... 11. A&E... 12. Laos... 13. Routine... 14. Pig Rabies... 15. Burma... 16. Tsunami... 17. Songkran... 18. Sick Note... 19. Cycle Vietnam... 20. Street Kids... 21. My Life. Ideas Needed... 22. June Jambles...