Monday, December 18, 2006

Sounds of Kwau Village

Thursday, November 30th, 2006

We agree to stay with T at his village house and take a rest day tomorrow. Friday will be our summit bid. We drive in the dark from our guesthouse about 30 minutes on the motos. Kwau is a VERY small village - one road. We arrive in the complete dark and are greeted by the family - wife, children, grandmother, and uncle.

There is a really weird music playing in the background. Think of the
weirdest combination of a string-fiddle-with a talking drum and
mono-tone Cambodian rap singer with a slinky in his mouth, all wrapped
into one.Apparently this music is because someone has died in the
village and it is for their send off. And maybe to ward off the ghosts
as they travel to theafter world. It makes for an eerie backdrop to the dark Cambodian village scene.

We have dinner by candle light. We each rice with chicken and fish. Each sich is in a bowl and you scoop and chow down. It is delicious. Ryan and I struggle to sit squat legged and are laughed at because "you sit like lady." Good one!

I am exhausted and soon we are shown to our beds. Josh and I share a bed
with a net to keep the bugs out. I pass out immediately.

I awake to sounds of a pig snorting. I slowly begin to open my ears to
the mixture of sounds. The musics is still playing for the death
ceremony. I can't believe that the "music" is still going. A rooster is

i get up, grab my mini recorder and head outside for an adventure to find the WC. i am greeted by a dog that begins to snarl at me and then bark. I stop and begin to whisper to the dog - "It's okay. You're not going to hurt me. I'm not going to have to hurt you. Good boy." Suddenly the grandmother appears from the closed gates of the
house doors and swishes the dog away.

I head to the back of the house and the pig is walking around snorting very loudly, and throws in an occasional squeal. The rooster crows. The dog barks again.
The music plays. I feel like I am in a low budget horror film, and I
shake my head in disbelief as to what might happen next...

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