Today was a day to observe the cultural (that they choose to share) and shop.
We began the day at the school of dance. Students who have passed several tests, display potential and are from poor families are admitted for a four year program, a half day of dance and a half day of traditional school. The school was founded by a former dancer who managed to survive the the Khmer Rouge regime. The school is supported by the French government. The students range in age from 8 -12 for the first 3 years. The best stay on longer and the very best are eventually sent to the state university. We observed classrooms and then were entertained by the students.
Eileen was selected from the group as a model to demonstrate the proper way to wear a costume.
Later we went to the silk factory and watched the silk making process from mulberry leaf to finished product. Here they also train the poorer students in the trade. we have had a debate amongst the group about these enterprises or schools that train the poor. My feeling is these kids are very lucky to have a chance to come out of abject poverty. Other members feel like these schools are little more than indentured servitude.
In the evening I went on a cultural event in the country that included an ox cart ride. Mary and Eileen had a massage and shopped.
Susan, we stayed at the Royal Orchid in Bangkok and the Sofitel Siemens Reap. both the hotels are amazing.
Tomorrow we leave for the boat.