project review

A Day in the Life of a Cambodia Forest Volunteer

Review submitted by Vittoria Elliot
Review date 26 Oct 2010


Frontier-Cambodia's current field site is nestled in the heart of an open dipterocarp forest at the base of what the Khmer like to refer to as a 'mountain' but what amounts to a little hillock in British - 'Munro' terms... although try telling that to our feet when we head up the hill at dawn in search of birds... Any grumblings as we stagger up the side of the rocky landscape soon give way to gasps of pleasure as the 'mountain' affords a view across the vast expanse of flood plain below and off to the distant Cardamom Mountains - these really could be mountains by any standard! Three weeks into the phase and we have seen snakes and small mammals galour; we are well on our way to a high capture number of new and interesting butterflies and it's still the end of the rainy season - we're not supposed to be successful at catching butterflies until later on in the season - No one told the butterflies though!

Some hard work with blood, sweat and tears provides great rewards and having made great efforts to get the buckets dug in while the rainy season keeps the ground nice and moist, we can sit back on our laurels and wait til the weather turns slightly drier to open the bucket lines with great satisfaction knowing that it would have been 10 times as hard digging them in once the ground dried. Our camp now has shelves for the veggies, a rack for the utensils, an elevated safe haven for the all-important rice and even a card table is well underway! We can relax and enjoy our hard work knowing that it's all down here from here... from the fabulous vista we enjoy the challenge of identifying the many circling water birds floating on the thermals. As they come in to land far below our focus is drawn to the trek back to our home in the forest back down the hill and to a nutritious delicious plate of rice, beans and vegetables...


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