I was very happy because it was the first day that I was going out with a deaf person in Cambodia, Chheng. He is one of the teachers at Krousar Thmey School, a young boy with a very nice face. Two days ago he taught me some basics on Cambodian Sign Language and we could communicate quite quickly as it is strongly influenced by ASL (American Sign Language).
He took me to a place near the Old Market, in the urban centre, Artisans Angkor; there is a school – social company that teaches and sells crafts. It has several centres, but this one was beautiful, it is divided into pavilions and, in the middle, there are gardened areas with palm trees and tables. As you walk by the different departments, you can see deaf and hearing people making stone sculptures, painting pictures, working with copper… In every part there was always somebody to explain me how his work was, it is incredible what they do, and I very much loved getting to know more about the process and technique.
They also told me how they worked with bigger pieces in the other centres placed in the outskirts… and some of them are even used in the recovery works for Angkor!
At the end of the walk there is an exhibition hall which briefly shows the history of crafts in Cambodia and a shop. To tell the truth I would have loved taking many things from there, there were wonderful things and it would have been a lovely reminder of a wonderful morning, but, going by bicycle, souvenirs are not made for me!