April is usually the hottest month of the year here, making life miserable for the many who live in the provinces without air conditioning, but this month has been different. Rainy season has started a little bit early! This is good for a little cooler weather, but brings its own challenges with the downstairs of many homes flooding and the deep water making roads dangerous.
We have it better than many people, but when it rains hard the drain in the downstairs kitchen bathroom begins flooding the house with black stuff. One cleaning lady, for example, says they live with their bottom floor flooded for half of each year because of the poor drainage. Last Saturday it rained really hard and the kitchen flooded, not only the floor, but the sink drains had black stuff coming up out of them. And worms. Yuck. The worms were trying to crawl out of the sink. I kept washing them back down, but it wouldn't drain until much later when it stopped raining. The drain pipe under the sink chose that day to spring a leak along with one of the faucets. I'm thankful for bleach! Of course, people didn't stop getting hungry, so the dishes piled up until that got fixed. I'm thinking next time I should wash them in the bathroom. Though the water draining might still be a problem. I'm sure we'll figure something out.
Next week everyone has a week off for Khmer New Year. Elias and Ezra have been learning a song in Khmer at school.
We had our appointment at the embassy to get Zoe her passport. It went smoothly and they said we should have it soon. On the way home it started raining. Most tuk tuks have canvas flaps that they pull down and velcro to the poles when it rains, but this tuk tuk didn't have them. We got a little wet, but after living in deserts, the rain is still nice. I do wonder if that's why Zoe has a cold today, though I kept her wrapped up in her blanket.
Talia said they had a monkey fall out of a tree into the pool at their school. She was excited to report that monkeys can, in fact, swim, because he swam to the edge and climbed out.
Our neighbors have two sons that are really nice and play with our kids. Their father was telling Benjamin about how school works for them here: His son rides his bicycle through city traffic to school and then pays to park it. Then, each day he must pay his teacher 1,000 riel. That adds up to about $5 a month. That doesn't sound like much, but it is for this country. Teachers only make $200 a month here, and that is after the recent raise from the government. That is barely enough for even a frugal Cambodian to make ends meet. Most people live with their families for this reason, in tall houses like this: