In July and August of this year (2019), I traveled around the world. On the first half of trip I traveled with 3 granddaughters and 2 of their parents. We briefly played tourist in Hong Kong, then flew to 2 separate islands in the Philippines, before terminating in Cambodia.
We flew from San Francisco to Hong Kong. My son had a connection there who introduced us to the ex-British colony. We spent a day enjoying some of the scenic attractions. We road the aerial tram and then hiked to the base of a hill crowned with giant Buddha. In the afternoon, we road to a scenic overlook in the hills above the city.
From Hong Kong, we flew to the island of Mindanao, in southern Philippines. We installed a swing set at one primary school, and a playground (including a swing set) at a second. Our hosts were two families that were friends of my son while he was on his mission in northern Mindanao more than 25 years ago. They provided great assistance with fabrication and installation of the playground equipment. In the Philippines, we were joined by my daughter-in-law and her daughter.
From Mindanao we island hopped to Panay. There we installed a playground set at a school located about 45 minutes from Iloilo. This activity is described in a previous post. While in Iloilo we enjoyed visiting several small scenic islands located just a short boat ride from Iloilo. The small islands were popular with Filippinos; there were few if any foreign tourists.
From Iloilo, we traveled to Siem Reap, Cambodia. We were picked up at the airport by 2 local LDS Church members who owned tuk-tuks, rickshaws pulled by small motorcycles. They were our transportation for the next 2 weeks.
Our first activity was to check on 2 swing sets that I and one of the tuk-tuk drivers had installed 6 years ago. I wrote about this activity in a previous post. We then identified 2 additional locations for playground equipment. The first was a large school located in a Buddhist complex. We installed a swing there. The second was a small school nearby. There we installed a swing set and monkey rings, and repaired their seesaw.
While we were waiting for playground equipment to be fabricated, my family visited nearby Angkor Wat, a massive temple complex located adjacent to Siem Reap. The granddaughters enjoyed scurrying around the massive collection of ruins. Angkor Wat is truly one of the wonders of the ancient world. And there are ancient ruins throughout Cambodia.
For one playground installation, we headed into a small mountain range near Siem Reap. There we installed a swing set and slide at a small primary school. The slide had some welding problems. The locals, however, found a welder to make the necessary repairs. As at most of the schools we visited, we were well fed. And my granddaughters enjoyed interacting with the children.
From Siem Reap, my family headed home. My son and his two daughter headed home to Lehi, Utah. After another week, my daughter-in-law and her daughter headed back to the D.C. area. And I traveled on to Uganda.