Now for those of you in the audience tonight who haven't heard of penguin logic, a quick lesson (those who have, feel free to skip ahead). Penguin logic derives from the logic that a penguin is black and white and (when this saying was invented) TV's are black and white, and therefore a penguin is a TV. Now this all gets rather interesting and we use this concept a lot in this blog so feel free to keep an eye out for it. Firstly (just so we don't leaving you hanging) we must talk about the tuk tuk/moto drivers over here. Since we have a new motorbike (herein referred to as the green goblin (yes that is a sci fi reference you Spiderman fans) one would think that we would therefore no longer require the services of these fine men (as yet haven't found a female tuk tuk/moto driver (just an interesting observation). But they seem to disagree, for example we can be racing down Monivong Blvd on the green goblin (I have used hyperbole for the word racing, the green goblin would be more fitting of a term like hopping/spontaneously combust than racing but anyway) and we can be shouted at from across the street asking whether we want a tuk tuk (and I don't think it was just being condescending and this will happen maybe 10 times on a 30 minute drive). But penguin logic isn't only limited to them as you'll find out as we go along.
So from what I remember, we were heading back to a place called Bassac Guesthouse last time I spoke to you, but that relationship all turned very sour when they tried to charge us extra for hot water and say we couldn't bring our own fan back in (we had a light bulb in our head go on when walking through central market to buy a 2nd fan as the first one sounded like it was snoring at night. So anyhow, after meeting with Chris from NFC (we will explain the acronym shortly) he was able to help us find an apartment for $130 per month which is incredibly good value, keeping the accountants happy at less than $5 per night (with air con if we want it – we pay for our own electricity), and is run by the most awesome Khmer family, though the building is apparently owned by the German Development something, or at least that's what it says on our contract. Geographically speaking we are now living in the north of Phnom Penh (above Wat Phnom) and pretty close to the lake (that's now being slowly filled in with sand (big heart wrenching stories there, but you'll have to Google it so I can save on words – see I told you I was going to try and cut down). This does mean however that we are still very close to the backpacker food places which is great on a small budget, and should mean that the diahorrea tablets can stay firmly locked away in our bags (not that that's really worked – and not that you really needed to know that ha-ha).
Right y-all NFC, stands for New Future for Children and has pretty much been the redeeming feature of Phnom Penh so far. I mean we do love the city and all, but only seeing the poverty and uneducated side of things doesn't leave much room for a good impression no matter how hard you try. Chris and the team at NFC (he's the only Barang there same as Falang was in Laos – foreigner) are so passionate about all of these kids succeeding in building themselves, not to be able to just fit into local society once they leave but to be able to lead it, and actually have the means to give back to those around them. Especially at a time in Cambodia when rote learning and do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do is the norm, its great to see kids with a fresh outlook, and that really does come down to Chris and the team at the orphanage. Now intentionally we aren't gonna name any of the kids in the blog, just to keep their privacy and all, but essentially they are all as amazing as each other, all quirky in their own kinda way and for all the teachers/parents out there, we have the same sorta warm fuzzy feeling inside when they grab our hands when we see them each day (some melodramatic piano piece would be great here if you have some).
Now today is Victory Over Genocide Day up here (still not sure what we are supposed to say to everyone, "Happy Genocide Day" seems a bit odd, and with the 35 degree heat we are too lazy for "Happy Victory Over Genocide Day!") so we headed down to NFC to play a few games with the kids, but first a bit of background. Lucky Mart (our local supermarkets) all for some reason decided to close a day early for todays celebrations (Penguin Logic) which meant we couldnt get all the things we wanted for today in advance and left us racing round at the last minute to pull something together. So after gathering a few straws, cornflour, water and tape(yes I did the science experiment where you make an explosive out of those 4 things too, but they werent used for the same game) we headed down on the green goblin, gear changes and all. Games like winking murder (yes we get that you may be crying bad taste and all but this was probs one of the kids favourite games) and then we headed to the big event the straw challenge.
For anyone who has ever taken peer support or done a BP Technology Challenge, you wont find this original in the slightest, but we were all rather proud of ourselves coming up the idea, and you not taking that away from us. So the version we did was to get the kids to build the tallest possible tower with 250 straws and tape (yes I know the official rules call for pins but for anyone who has given a packet of pins to a 5 year old and said have fun, you'll know where we are coming from when we decided to go with tape). With the kids working together amazingly well, we were able to pretty much be completely hands off with the instructional side of how to do things (like build a tower – no penguin logic here) and the kids had towers over 2m within the hour, freestanding wasn't quite as high on their lists as using all the straws and ideas like top heavy are still to come in their teachings (they did however comply with cambodian building standards) - the kids loved it, didn't feel the need for judging, scores, math's that require calculators and a big trophy saying winner on it, they were simply ecstatic with their achievements and loved counting down the seconds that they have left – kiwi schools take note, these kids know how to revel in achievements and they don't need shiny certificates!
So thats all the latest goss from the Cambodian corner, 28 days till we are back in Kiwiland this thing is all going insanely quick for us.
And just for a slight change of pace, to take us out lets have the classic Thomas the Tank Engine theme – just for an educational twist.