Water Park - Cambodian Version

I'm sure at the end of my last post, you were wondering - what the heck are those weird bird statues?!?

Last Friday, we had "family day" for all the office staff and traveled about an hour to a water park in the middle of a rice field. No kidding. I have to admit, I was a little scared by the water, but then I remembered all the cow ponds I grew up swimming in in Kansas and I quickly lost my fear. Of course, that was before all the kids stripped to their knickers and jumped in. Swimming suits ("bathers" in Aussie-speak) aren't really in vogue here.

They also had a really strange assortment of concrete animals spread across the compound. There didn't really seem to be any rhyme or reason to the animals chosen, but we quickly availed ourselves of the peacock statues - picture perfect moment!

I have to admit that at times, this experience was a little scary. You know all the rules that everyone knows about swimming pools in America? Like not running, not getting into water too deep if you don't know how to swim, not climbing back up the slides - yeah, those don't really exist here. Within 5 minutes of our arrival, Andrew jumped into the pool to save some flailing kid from drowning who jumped in without realizing, oh hey, that's kind of deep, and I don't know how to swim. Thankfully, I have a hero-husband who is great at saving the day. We also watched a kid literally kick a soccer ball up the tall slide while walking back up the slide to reach the top. So scary!!! But somehow, no one was injured (except all the adults, who overdid it on the slide...ahem...) and everyone had a blast. 

So the slide above looks pretty harmless (actually, I guess it does look a little dangerous with the sketchy patchwork on the seams). But once you sit on these pieces of foam conveniently floating around the pool, you will fly like a baby bird - I have a baseball-sized bruise on my hip to prove it!

Andrew brought a couple water guns to up his cool-factor with the kids.

View from the top of the slide of the surrounding rice fields.

Part of the fun of family day is hanging out with everyone's mothers, fathers, kids, grandkids, etc. Family is extremely important in Cambodian culture, and it's a great time to meet everyone. Although the weather was roasting hot (I stopped swimming around 11:30am - too hot from the sun, despite my long-sleeved swimming shirt and hat!), we found some shade and hammocks. Nobody minds if you doze off for a while.

Yeah, not the cleanest water....

The next day, we got together for brunch with several friends. The tall(er) guy is a barista from Australia, who took advantage of the freshly roasted Broadway Cafe beans I'd brought back from KC and brewed us some delicious aeropress coffee (I actually know what that is now!). It was our first time to see everyone after getting back. It is really nice, yet a bit strange, how easy it is to slip back into everyday living here, after spending a month in a completely "alien" country (compared to Cambodia!).  Yet it seems a much easier adjustment compared to last year, and I'm thankful for that. I think friends definitely help with that!