Displaced Yankee Productions | Russian Market

Russian Market

Being back a day early has left Art and I with little to do on this hot and humid Sunday. We sleep in for a change and head back to shoot W’aht Phnom’s pagoda from a distance since we were banned from filming there. We find a spot to get a good shot with the wide-angle lens and I point out to Art that we are next to the giant American embassy. A guard waves at us and we wave back and point to the pagoda to demonstrate what we are filming. However, once we pack up our bags and climb back into our Tuk Tuk, we are pulled over by two security guards. Welcome to a post 9-11 world. They are friendly but persistent. No one is allowed to film the embassy. We identify ourselves as Americans, show him our film permit and explain we were not filming the embassy. He asks how he can believe us and Art offers to show him the footage he just shot. The guard agrees and Art shows him the footage through the viewfinder. Satisfied we have not breeched national security, he shakes Art’s hand and we continue on our way.
We decide to head to CCF to see if we can get some footage of our kids on the weekend when they are not in school. Turns out CCF is fairly empty on the weekends. Most of the kids are off visiting family, visiting friends, out at extra curricular classes, etc. The only one there from the project is Meng Ly whom we just returned with. There is no English speaking staff there for us to communicate with either so we opt to head back to the hotel. But first I spend a few moments with my sponsor child, Lyda, who is there. I also buy a ton of junk food across the street and distribute it to the kids. I put Meng Ly in charge of distribution. He holds up his hands and announces, “Candy for everyone!” We leave a bunch of happy kids.
On a side note, I thought you might all enjoy an update on the baby in the relocation center. I spoke to Fiona a few days ago. She had been back out to the camp to do medical checks on the woman with the gangrene hand and the new infant baby. The woman with the hand was not there, having been taken to a hospital for surgery. However, the new baby and his parents were. Happily, a non-profit had bought them a pallet bed and they were up off the ground and out of the water. The baby was thriving and the mother was much better and no longer fighting her infection. The family was just beaming with pride over their new addition. Fiona said despite where they were; they were doing much better and enjoying being new parents. The little baby boy was healthy. A bit of good news.

Art and I decide to head to the Russian market to do a little shopping – Art for his wife and for myself, a large selection of the gorgeous Khmer silk scarves and bags for the next fund raiser photography exhibit. Several are already earmarked for people who put in requests for them before I left. While we were finishing up, the rain clouds rolled in. We made it to a restaurant near our hotel before the skies really opened up. Also avoiding the rain was a French teacher from Holland and her daughter on holiday. We struck up a friendly conversation with them as the torrential rains and leaking roof drove us all from our original tables. The mother was very interested in the documentary project and we exchanged emails so she could be kept updated on the film’s progression. She also wanted to check out the website to share with her class back in Holland. From Idaho to Holland to New Zealand to England, we have really been spreading the word and building the email list here. It’s really been thrilling. We spent the rainy afternoon at the documentation center at the S21 museum watching a French documentary on the Khmer Rouge genocide and have headed back to our hotels the enjoy our one day to ourselves. I plan on getting a nice foot massage to wrap up the day and look forward with some sadness to tomorrow, our last day of filming here in Cambodia. It will be a day of farewells to the children and to our Cambodian film crew who has worked so tirelessly for me here during this production run. I can’t wait to see the kids and will be sorry to leave them behind. And by this Internet extension, I hope you will miss them too and keep following their stories as we do. Till tomorrow then.


5 × = forty