One of the best things about travelling are that people that you meet along the way. I am hoping to sit down with various women as we travel through Cambodia to get a glimpse of what life is like for them.
In Siem Reap I spoke with Sovann, one of the staff at Mysteres D’Angkor Siem Reap Lodge. Sovann is a really lovely woman, the kind of person that you want to be friends with. I was so happy that she was willing to speak with me.
Hi Sovann, thank you so much for your time. Do you mind telling me how old you are? (laughs) I am 34!
Oh, wow like me – I’m 35! Have you always lived in Siem Reap? Yes, I was born here.
What is good about living in Cambodia, being Cambodian? Normally, some places are good, some not so good. If you have good work, if you are rich to live in Cambodia is good. Normally, I like to live here.
Do you have any children? Yes, I have one daughter. She will be 7 this month.
Are you married? Yes, I am.
What does your husband do? He is a French speaking guide. He used to be a teacher at the French school. He learnt in Phnom Phen, I think. He is older, 12 years and has a daughter. She lives with us.
What is your job? I work here at the hotel. The staff here are like a family. I work here in 13years now, and most staff work here 10-15years, since the hotel opened.
How many hours do you work each week? 8 hours a day and on one day we have a long day, 9hours. I start at 6am morning. It is a little be difficult to wake up my daughter.
WOW, yes I can imagine! And how many days a week do you work? 6 days.
How much housework do you do in the week? Every morning my daughter she goes to my parents house. They take her to school and then when I finish work I go to my parents house. My daughter learns 1 hour in the morning and then from 1-5pm in the afternoon. Sometimes she sleeps 1-2hours in the day but if lots of children from the neighbourhood come to play then she doesn’t sleep.
Does your husbands daughter also go to your parent’s house while you are at work? Yes. Her mother and I talk together as friends. When she wants to know about her daughter she calls to me, or to my parents or to my husband.
What do you do when you aren’t working, to have fun? Normally I always stay with my parents because I have a lot of sisters. The laundry at our house is very small so I go to my parents house with my sisters, to help them. In evening time, I go back home.
What makes you laugh? (laughs!) lf I laugh it means I have good family, it means I have no problems. My husband is good, never makes me sad, always makes me happy.
What do you hope for your daughter? Like any mother, I would like her to be good. My daughter speaks a lot, she’s not afraid to speak to people and at school she is very clever. I would like her to be a teacher like my husband. Before salary was not so good but now it is good. Higher. We need to support her.
What would you ask Sovann? What would you like to ask Cambodian woman as I meet them over the coming weeks?