Water, Spas, and Relaxation

Fortunately, the quarterly report is now complete and I have been assigned a new task. My primary focus for the rest of the summer will be the legal framework and case studies on water. Although I have never focused on natural resources before, the project is extremely interesting. Water encompasses so many topics of particular importance in Cambodia. Potential focus areas include water supply and storage, irrigation, access, rights, companies and investment, climate change, water quality and pollutants, ground water levels and movement, dams and hydropower, fisheries etc. My first step is to research domestic and international laws that pertain to water. In addition to case studies and other work, the research will also be made available to everyone, including local civil society organizations (CSOs), via an open data site to inform them of the legal framework surrounding water. 

Outside of work, this past week has been an introduction to the Cambodian focus on spas. After visiting the Russian market, my friends decided to randomly stop at a salon where I paid $4 for a manicure and pedicure. Unfortunately, high humidity does not agree with nail polish and so as soon as I put my shoes back on, an hour later, the nail polish went everywhere. But, I didn’t have to walk around for long with smeared pink toes because the next day I was invited to a cookout where the Cambodian hostess was bored and decided to paint my nails and toe nails.  A few days later, my supervisor suggested we schedule a foot massage. I gladly agreed because my feet were hurting after walking everywhere for two-and-a-half weeks. My foot massage was heavenly! Future spa adventures, based on recommendations, will include a heated stone massage, a facial, an Indian scalp massage, and more foot massages! All this to experience the Cambodian spa culture and at a fraction of the cost in the states!

After a week of researching water, I decided to take a weekend trip to the beach! The two hour taxi ride to Kampot was not only like a roller coaster ride but also revealed the large migrant worker population that exits Phnom Penh every weekend packed in massive trucks.  In Kampot, we visited the Rusty Keyhole for what many expats lauded as the best BBQ ribs in Southeast Asia. As a southern girl and BBQ aficionado from North Carolina, I am quite particular about my BBQ. I was not disappointed even though it wasn't up to Carolina (or even Texas) standards.  The following morning we took a tuk tuk to some caves outside of Kampot, then visited a peppercorn plantation, and finally arrived at Kep Beach. The beach in Kep was beautiful and the seafood also lived up to its reputation.


Kampot Beach     Kampot

Kampot Beach Local Area

Caves Outside of Kampot    Kampot Pepper

Caves Kampot Pepper

crab    Kep Beach

Crab with Kampot Green Pepper Kep Beach