July was an excellent month for us here in Banteay Chhmar. We had great visits from two of our favorite tour operators. First, our friends from Operation Groundswell (OG) visited us from July 11th to the 15th. We had a wonderful welcoming dinner with the group and the villagers, followed by some traditional dancing. The next day, the group went on a temple tour with tour guide, Sang Ponlok.
We think the highlight was the trip to Kit Sokoun’s fish farm. The group tried their hand at fishing. After catching lunch, we all went up to the Choueng Krus Baray for a picnic of grilled fish.
As you may know from their visit in May, Operation Groundswell raises funds for the projects they visit on their trips. This time, the group decided to continue supporting their previous projects in the village. OG raised funds to provide two houses with metal roofs, gutters and rainwater harvesting jars. Additional funding is going to be used to expand the ceramic water filter project started in May. This project is getting off to an excellent start. The families are happy with the quality of the water from the filters and requests for the filters is exceeding supply.
Please view a slideshow of the Operation Groundswell visit. Hope to see you again next year! 🙂
Our second great visit this month was from our friends at Travelers MAP. This time, a group of Korean students visited us for a cultural and educational tour. The group made new friends with students from the Banteay Chhmar primary school. They played a lot of games together and visited the temple. We hope we can have more bonding trips like this in future years.
And, let us not forget about the national elections which were held on July 28th. In Banteay Chhmar, we had plenty of political rallies all month long. Everything here went smoothly and we look forward to continuing to see infrastructure improvements such as a paved road and 24/7 electricity service next year.