hmmmm - another long break between updates. I was way too relaxed while I was away and I barely got out the computer other than to Skype Gra and Mum. Our time away was so beautiful I can't even put it into words!...I am hoping to add a few photo's to this update. Kep is an amazing place in so many ways. There are beautiful green trees and mountains protruding out of the earth like the glasshouse mountains in QLD. The accommodation is what many would call basic, but for me it was perfect. Gorgeous little 'bungalows' set in amongst greenery. Not much of a view but the lovely cool more than made up for it. I woke early every morning (had a furry little friend similar to a squirrel appear at about 5.30am every day)....once I worked out what it was I wasn't worried so just got up and listened to my book, prayed or just 'was'. It was really lovely and refreshing....and only $40per night incl a yummy breakfast! The 2.5hr ride there and back wasn't bad either. I got to see many different sights around Cambodia from the comfort of an air conditioned car. Katrina desperately needed the break and the girls spent most of the time in the pool. We all got rather burnt because there is little shade around the pool ..... so we spent a lot of time IN it! I must say we saw some sights on the way....one of the most amazing was a guy on a motorbike with a block of ice that would have been about 2 metres wide and about 30cm square!...not to mention pigs and roosters/chickens by the dozens hanging from bikes!
When we arrived Katrina organised a Tuk Tuk to take us for a look around. We looked at the most amazing sunset...with a lovely cool breeze over us. We then took in some of the houses in the area....so many are derelict and have been since Pol Pot. Hard to believe. They would be so valuable if they were bought and done up. Right near the seaside in an area that will, undoubtedly, become a popular tourist location in years to come.....but so sad to see the devastation of the times.
We were all a bit sad to come home on Monday....but you can imagine our joy when we woke on Tuesday morning to the news that a beautiful baby girl had been born at 5.30am! Katrina called me when she arrived at the office and I packed up my daughter and my gear and we picked up Katrina and headed to the hospital. What a privilege to be able to photograph this precious new life. Her mum's story is so sad though. She lost twins at 6 months gestation, then she had a baby boy who she had to hand over when he was on 7 months because she couldn't provide for herself, let alone her son. Now she has the sweet little girl, but she is really struggling because she just wants her son back. (He is almost 3 now and in foster care). She feels she can't love this little girl, but of course Katrina is moving slowly with her but encouraging her in her love for her daughter.
I was able to take photographs when little "November" as she's called (born 1/11/11) was only 4.5 hours old! What an amazing opportunity for me.
Sadly the state of the hospitals there are disgusting to say the least. Katrina managed to move this mum from a room she shared with 8 other women - to a 2 bed room. Katrina had to use alcoholic wipes on all she could but she said she wouldn't even use the toilets there! I was aghast!...I said if I had one place that I would choose, if asked, to use a toilet in Asia - it would be a hospital....but NO definitely not :)
Another thing that really knocked me around was driving past the children's hospital and seeing the lines of families waiting out in the heat.....apparently for hours....to have their children treated. I wish I could have got my camera out in time....but sadly I couldn't. We really don't know how good we have it.
Tuesday afternoon I was called in to photograph another mum and her 4mo baby boy. Didn't go so well because the timing was very wrong for photography and the little man just cried and cried. Oh well, not to bad an average really!
Wednesday I stayed around home until I met Katrina for lunch (or should I say 'we')...then took Autumn and Eb to a place called 'Elsewhere' which has a pool that is free if you buy a drink or something there. The girls had fun for a few hours while I skyped with Gra and then planned to do some editing until I realised my battery on my computer was too low!
Katrina and Elijah and Josiah joined us for a while, then we took them all home, fed them, put them to bed and Katrina shouted me an hour massage ($10 per person except Katrina had 1 free voucher so it cost $5 per person)! She really needed it after a tough day and I just simply enjoyed it!
Today I decided to do the photographs of some t-shirts for a friend of Pauls who is partners in an organisation called 'Justees' which are t-shirts for justice. I'm doing it as a gift for their organisation...but it ended up taking me almost 2 hours! I should be editing :) Then met Kat for lunch again and then a quick trip to the Russian markets then Paul bought Eb and I home and here I am!
So - hopefully the photo's will appear...and hopefully I'll get to update again in a few days!
love as always xxx *I've just spent ages trying to download a photograph (1 of 28 I re-sized to put on here!) and it's taking forever so I'll have to do it when I get home xxx