On a day when there was no school, we took the opportunity to hire a boat to take us up the canal to Phnom Da and Angkor Borei. The canal was built in the 1970s to connect Takeo and Vietnam. From Takeo, it’s 40 km to Phnom Da and from there it’s only 8 km to Vietnam. We didn’t want to go through the hassle and expense of getting visas for Vietnam, so we stayed on the Cambodia side.
Phnom Da has two temples. The main one dates back to the 6th century and although it has suffered some damage from years of war in this country, surprisingly, it remains mostly intact. Upon arriving, we were greeted by a couple of locals who acted as our unofficial tour guides. They didn’t speak much English, but that didn’t stop them from trying to explain everything and show us around.
The second temple is a smaller Hindu sanctuary.
After Phnom Da, we took the canal a bit further to Angkor Borei. We visited the museum there which has artifacts from the local area which date back to the 5th century.
The best part of the whole trip was the boat ride on the canal.
Being on the canal allowed us to get a glimpse into the lives of those who live along its banks.
On the canal, fishing is a primary means of livelihood. We watched as folks cast nets by hand and skillfully raked fish out of the water.
During our time in Takeo, in addition to teaching at the village school, we helped build a new fence at the children’s center in town. To be honest, I only helped a little, but Jay was a big help on the project and in making sure it done right.
After spending two weeks in Takeo, it was a little sad to goodbye. The people here are incredibly friendly and warm hearted. We will miss the bright smiles and the choruses of hellos. And we will especially miss the children at the village school. We will never forget them! I hope and pray for bright futures for each of them. And I will be praying for their Khmer teacher, Teem, that he will continue to have such passion and enthusiasm for teaching the children of his village. This is a picture of my English class on our last day at the school. We used the pagoda as a classroom.
For our last night in Takeo, we hung out at Riverside one last time with other volunteers and watched the sunset, then we all went out for dinner together at the restaurant next to the canal. It was a nice way to end to our time in Takeo.