Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Life in Cambodia with Mel Part II

On January 20, Mel wrote: "Andy is renovating this hostel type of a house.


And Andy is constructing the beds".


In the meantime, they sleep inside the tents which they have moved inside the "hostel" :

And this is the pagoda where they hang their own hammocks.


Here is where Mel works where she gets paid in tips for work  from 10am to 2 pm.  They get free food and drink with lodging.  Sometimes she has problem serving outside of the bar specially for big groups.  She had a group of about 17 Chinese people the other day and they all asked for mango shakes. When asked how long it would take, Mel said: " it will be shorter if you have them next to the bar, but unfortunately, they decided to have them outside. Imagine Mel carrying the tray with several glasses of shakes walking over pallet flooring, making noise as she takes her steps and dodging children with their bikes.  Whew!!! and to finally end up with 0 tip.  She also has to keep record of orders and sales and by the end of the day, she hands the proceeds over to the Boss.  But she has the complete trust of the employer and whatever she recommends usually gets taken into consideration.


Mel also organizes snorkeling tours and rents the masks for a small fee.


These are the three bungalows which are for rent nearby and there is one room for 8 people.   Mel and Andy get paid per bed rented.

This is what Andy made to throw the organic wastes.

This is where the well is.

They also rent hammocks:

When there are tourists, they become their tour guides and make arrangements for boat rides.


 Or helping a fisherman with his boat that get stuck on shore.

  And this is the sailboat that Andy made for nearby sailing.


Mel went fishing on a friends' fishing boat and met this Vietnamese fisherman on his boat.They gave him a bottle of coke and he was very grateful.

Snorkeling, fishing trips, jungle walks, beach volley ball, swimming at night and watching the glowing planktons, fire and music in the evenings (Andy plays the guitar), enjoying the beautiful sunrises and sunsets, these are just some of the activities they have in the island.


Greetings on the rocks, such originality and must have been quite a task!

This is where some tourists hang around.

The children of the Boss, find the simplest ways to entertain themselves.

Somebody in Andy's family, who came over for a visit, made these signs to attract the tourists and organize the proper classification and disposal or recycling, when possible, of wastes:

Mel in her free time, goes for a walk with Scooby Doo, one of the four dogs in Bimbamboo, goes swimming or just laze around by the beach, with some people.

With Contia, on her Dad's shipping boat

A typical Cambodian dish, Hotpot

See you again soon!

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Life in Cambodia with Mel

Yesterday, I had a chat with Mel and although the connections kept on dropping and we had the time differences of 6 hours, being after 10pm  in Cambodia, while only at 4pm in Madrid we managed to get to converse for more than an hour.

Mel accompanied by her mate Andy,  has been in Cambodia, in Koh Russei, since the 15th of November 2013 where they have been last year also.

The first thing she did when she reached the city of Sihanouk, was to have a haircut and here she is with the hairdressers that work in the parlor.

Koh Russei or Bamboo Island is one of a group of small islands in the Gulf of Thailand located about 10 km off the coast of Sihanoukville city, in southern Cambodia.  Here are  several pictures of Mel and the  island.


At first, they took refuge on the rocky shores where they made use of what they could find by the beach and recycled them for their use, while they brought with them several equipments like kitchen utensils, their tent, and the solar panel to charge their cell batteries

Life is quite easy, they live on what they can bring from the city like the bottled water and eat with what Andy can fish, given them for free, or what they buy from the city to bring back to the refuge.


 Food is cheap in the city, and you get a meal complete with rice and vegetable with tea for a drink.

They find activities as they present themselves, like playing ball with the children around, at the same time that they teach them some words in English.

They help in the rice harvest.


They move around using frequently the bikes for their inland transport, or the familiar tuctuc, similar to the Philippine jeepney.



Whereas, they go to the island by boats or ferries.

This is only the beginning of what is going to be an adventurous survivor's nomadic experience in Cambodia.