It is interesting how my 'radar' goes into gear as soon as I board a plane to Cambodia. Sadly I go into a 'profiling' mindset, scanning for any single males who look like they are coming to Cambodia for 'tourist attractions' that are not the kind found in tour books. Sitting in the first row in the economy class was a 60ish caucasian man with no wedding band. I gave him a few stares and it so happened I was sitting right behind him so decided to use that time to send a few impercatory prayers up to heaven.
I arrived in Phnom Penh and was casually walking out towards the 'nothing to declare' section of the airport when I got stopped and pulled over for a search. This has never happened before but our Ratanak staff person Sotheary suggested it was probably because I was travelling alone and also looked like Cambodian :-) Thankfully, nothing came of the search as before I could unzip my bag the officer asked what I was doing in Cambodia and I mentioned that I was coming to work for an NGO and in my broken Khmer I told him I was from Canada. That ended the search and I was waved through. Such are the advantages to being a foreigner with NGO status.
Sotheary at The Bloom Cafe
I had planned on going to visit Svay Pak this afternoon but didn't make it due to some logistical issues. Instead Sotheary and I ended up at The Bloom Cafe. run by Ruth & Murray Larwill who have set up a training centre to empower victims of sex trafficking. Many of you may already have heard or read about the girls from Newsong who work there. I was surprised to see a girl from Daughters (another Ratanak project) who I had met last year at Daughters. She is now working at Bloom using her creative skills to make some beautiful cakes. The picture above is some of the cup cakes we indulged in. I am not a person who indulges much in 'sweet' things but I have to say, these cakes are quite tasty and the icing actually taste like a sorbet. The Bloom Cafe has only been around since March and yet it seems to be attracting a steady attention of both clients and visitors through word of mouth. We saw a five tier cake that one could easily mistake as a wedding cake. Instead it was being made for the birthday of the niece of the prime minister of Cambodia. God is certainly giving favor to this cafe and the girls who work here.
Well its just after 7pm here and the jet lag is starting to kick in to full gear so I shall end for now!