Angkor Wat

Our formal programming and gathering ended Thursday evening. The Cimas arranged an optional excursion to Angkor Wat for those interested. We obviously signed up – how often do you get an opportunity like that?!?! It would require a six hour bus trip each way, with one day of exploring Angkor Wat in between. Angkor Wat is the largest religious complex in the world.

Our bus was full – 41 people opted in for this experience!

Fortunately we had great leaders in JP and his friend Daniel. They did a fantastic job of keeping track of us all and ensuring we had an amazing experience.

On the way up we stopped for a late lunch/early dinner at a very local restaurant overlooking a pond and rice paddies. The menu was impressive but we made a few choices:

Now that I have garnered a reputation as a daring eater there is some pressure to maintain that reputation. We ate family style, including pork served in a hollowed out coconut, a steamed mixture of chicken and veggies wrapped in lotus leaves, and my addition on the right – raw fish paste mixed with red fire ants. You scooped up the mixture with the veggies and greens served alongside it. The taste was described as pungent – think of a really strong blue cheese and you wouldn’t be far off! So a little goes a long way. The red fire ants added crunch to it (at least some of the crunch, there was finely chopped lemon grass in there as well).

We took too many pictures at Angkor Wat to share here, and you can look up better ones online no doubt. But here are a couple:

Above is a nice group photo at the second of four different temple complexes we visited (there are nearly 200 at Angkor Wat!).

Angkor Wat is a Hindu and Buddhist temple complex built over the last 1000 years or so. However it is also still an active site for worship. Those are offerings of two entire roast pigs along with a collection of other goodies including sodas. There is still sooooo much opportunity to share the good news of Jesus in all the world, but it’s very obvious here in Southeast Asia.

We returned to Phnom Penh without event Saturday, tired but also grateful for connections with fellow workers and the opportunity to see yet another part of God’s creation.

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