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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

TravelAid - Days 2 + 3 - More surveys

I have been told off by Andrea (pronounced the German way) for not introducing ourselves, so here goes. I'm Rhodri Saunders, the co-ordinator of this trip and now the TravelAid president. I have just completed my Masters in Biochemistry at Oxford University (2.1) and am about to start a Dphil there in statistics (don't ask). Anya I met through my biochemistry course, she's a nature loving, foreign film watching all round nice Russian girl who is currently floating around on perfumed air having got a 1st class degree. Mike is the baby of the group, a Welsh law student he has just completed his first year at Oxford. Mike first got involved in the Nepal project that I was co-ordinating and has since taken over its reigns, we'll be out there at Easter 2007. Andrea was the TravelAid president till I ousted here ceremoniously, she's the only German and only blonde of the group which means many jokes are directed her way. Fortunately she has a very good sense of humour and thick skin to go with her charity soul.
Right, back to business! As the title says, we spent the day doing more surveys. We visited a couple more villages, Kondol, Tatrav, Preah Ko and Kok Kreul to be precise. The first we visited, Kondol, had a broken well that the villagers told us had broken 2 days after it had been put in. Pretty hard to prove but one wonders why they had not contacted anyone to fix it. Hopefully we will have rectified this in a day or two. The well man, whom Sombin, our translated called out, then took us on a tour of his other wells to prove they were all working. During this outing we each bought one or two wicker baskets from a local woman. Two baskets for 500 riel, barginous! Just to be generous we paid double price, no one was going to argue over 6 cents. It was Kok Kreul where we hit our jackpot, a village no other NGO had visited. The interviews were interesting, with many wanting a new house over the clean water source we were offering. But, still, it is here that we hope to install our first new well in a few days. This well should provide clean water for up to 7 families, or about 30 people. Day 4 will be a new area, a settlers village just behind the Journeys Within 'Mansion'...

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