Sunday, June 24, 2007

Khmer Dance Party

So this weekend I saw a pig get butchered. It was not a pretty sight!

We went up to Lompa Village for the opening of a new Foursquare church. We headed up Friday afternoon to spend one night. That evening there was quite a service, with a sermon by Dina, skits, special music by the youth at the church in Mondulkiri, and some praying. Then everyone headed outside for the dancing. They had a bank of speakers twice as high as my head – the Khmer like their music LOUD. Two restaurants set up booths with fried baby duck eggs – meaning eggs fried with nearly hatched baby ducks inside….delicacy, they call it. I haven’t hazarded one yet. But there were some yummy coconut cakes that I like a lot, which I headed over to buy but was stopped by a whole swarm of giant black ants which walked over my feet and bit me as they went. You would not BELIEVE how much one bite can hurt, and I had 20 or so. OUCH! So I opted not to dance, and instead go and find some cortisone cream for it. But an hour later I heard my favorite Khmer dance song come on and went out and joined everyone for an hour and a half or so. Mostly I danced with one lady from the village and one youth from our church. Then the kids claimed my attention and copied everything I did. You should have seen a whole crowd of village doing the pony. One boy kept giving me a thumbs up every time I taught them something new, and the villagers kept looking at me, surprised to see a barang dancing Khmer style.

Then I wore out and went to bed – only to be awakened by the butchering of a pig outside my bedroom window. A noisy process…and gross. But I went out to watch anyway. Gross…..gross gross. The dancing didn’t end until about 1am, and the women were up and preparing for the party at 4am, so there wasn’t a lot of sleep that night.

The next day we had another service at the church, followed by a ribbon cutting ceremony. I got to help cut the ribbon, since I’d preached at the church the Sunday before. How cool is that.

Then all of us served the tables. In theory. Actually there were so many people helping serve that my team was superfluous, and we got to sit down in the second seating. After that I helped bus and turn tables until the rain threatened, and Dina tried to get the team out from under the rain. Only the first moto made it out with Ratanak and Sopheap. Yee, Bopha and I were on the second moto, but the rain started as we were leaving the church and we hit a patch of mud and overturned. Yee and I are fine, but Bopha hurt her knee. We hobbled her back to the church and I doctored her the best I could. Somehow they found someone with a car to take her back into town, and as usual I was sent along because I’m a foreigner.

So we returned home wet, tired, and injured, but WHAT a party!