This past week I had the opportunity to be a part of my first project with the Cambodia team! We visited a site in Kampong Chhnang province that wants to build a conference center and supply a nearby village with water. The project team split the tasks into three components. A couple folks spent the whole time outside setting control “hubs” for future surveying that will take place in October. A couple more people were working on getting the water from the stream to the project site and village. Myself and one of the interns worked on water treatment options.
Day 4 of the trip was water sampling day. Because some of the sampling was time sensitive, one of our interns and Ian brought supplies up, we sampled in two locations and they took the samples to the lab in Phnom Penh. Ian and Reatrey met us at a tiny village near the two sampling sites. The villagers came out to see what we were up to and were delighted when I hugged Ian (and asked us to hug again, which of course we obliged). Ian then went on a steep hike with half the team to the first sampling location. I’m pretty sure Ian didn’t mind that we asked him to hike up to a waterfall to sample water. I took the project leader and two interns downstream to take our samples. Each intern had the chance to take a sample and Reatrey (who had not done water sampling before) was delighted with the process.
Each trip has it’s own unique challenges in design and this was no different. Survey was conducted primarily with a drone. Most of the property was safe, but properties nearby still contain landmines. One of the water pumps on site was created from a retrofitted car engine. That was interesting to spec!
For all the challenges, the area were we were was beautiful, and the family that hosted us was amazing. All the food that we ate was produced on site, including the python and rabbit. Talk about fresh! Also, there were a couple litters of two week old puppies to play with!