Monks are so mysterious. I always thought its disrespectful to photograph them, I don’t know. You see them all over the place in Phnom Penh, and well- all over south east asia- but I always thought of them as this disconnected group. A group that you shouldn’t interrupt. But anyways, that idea changed after I got a monks cell phone number, got invited to Phnom Penh Institute of Buddhism and chilled with some monks in a classroom. I was the only person on the premises not wearing civara (the robes yeah).
Anyways, everyday over 1000 monks gather at the institute and take classes. Khmer language, storytelling, Sanskrit and whatnot. I did not see any martial arts going on, but then again we were downtown Phnom Penh. Would be awesome to some day to experience what is that monks do on a daily basis.
-“So what do you want me to teach you?”
-“We want to take perfect photographs.” (+ this and that)
-“Um………… ok, let’s see what we can do”
In Cambodia I hosted a 3 day training programme for local media staff. With half the group not understanding English it was pretty rough at times but we got through it. Excellent experience both for me and them. Pretty eye opening on how countries’ like Cambodia really do not have access or don’t even know about many services we use on the internet everyday. Nevertheless they were determined to learn, which made it easier to try and reach the goal of “taking perfects photographs” :)
Tonight I leave Cambodia. Now will be weeks of organizing and trying to figure out what I can do with all the material I made. We’ll see. I’d like to give special thanks to Mu Sochua for being the best guide ever and encourage everyone to read up about her work. You can sign her “Stop Suppression of Speech in Cambodia” petition here. Either way, I’ll try to introduce her more in future posts.
Time to catch up on the world cup!