Someone with knowledge of Khmer

Hi, I'm actually not a resident of Siem Reap at the moment, but I wanted to get in touch with the Siem Reap expat community.

I'm an American who's in South East Asia for a year or two and just happened to visit Siem Reap. While visiting Banteay Srei temple, I saw a 13-year-old girl there who had fallen into a fire when she was just a 1 year old baby.  Her face has been disfigured tremendously and she cannot even speak other than making some noises.   But I imagine her social isolation is the most painful as the crowds were recoiling from her and even begging is not something she can depend on.  I know we are used to seeing a lot of suffering in this part of the world, but her case is truly egregious and my heart goes out to her.

I saw online that facial reconstructions are being done in the West for victims of burns and acid attacks.  There even seems to be an organization in the US (and maybe similar  in other countries too) called the Children's Burn Foundation that can help with funding for the surgery, including for foreign children (below is a link about how a girl from Pakistan was helped). … struction/

I was hoping to collect a little bit of information about her before trying to approach these orgs. Simple things like her whether she's mentally OK ( often, disfigurement is really hard on mental health, but chances of rehabilitation are higher if the person is mentally OK), whether she's getting any treatment at all,  does she have parents and other family.  If any attempts in surgery have been made previously here, what happened. 

I was hoping to take a tuk-tuk out there ( she can always be found at the Banteay Srei checkpoint) and ask her parents/guardians a few questions to gather this information.  Is there anyone with a knowledge of Khmer (and either English or Spanish so we can talk ) who can accompany me there and help translate? If someone is available in the next 3 days, I would be glad to ditch my other Angkor plans and try to get the information necessary.

I'd be grateful for this help.  Your nationality (and mine) do not matter.  Just some ability to speak Khmer.


Hi, What is exactly of your goal that you want to find that girl?

Hi, I'm a New Zealander and have been in Siem Reap for nearly a month (just off a month). We have a tuk tuk driver who has been extremely helpful for all things Cambodian. He might be able to help you - we absolutely recommend him to anyone and everyone. He speaks English, is very very reasonably priced, was once a Buddhist Monk (so has intimate knowledge of the city) and knows the district inside out. We came across him from a recommendation from a lovely American lass, he helped us secure our apartment in a great area BEFORE we got on the plane and at such a brilliant price (our apartment would usually have been around the $US320 mark during high season but he got it for half that, he also does our shopping and takes us out on regular excursions). If you would like his details, just drop me a message or you can contact him through his FB account - Tuktuk Kimlean.

I don need Tuk Tuk driver, I am not living in Siem Reap, I am living in Phnom Penh. I just don't understand why you try to find that girl.?

Hi, my message was for Thomas, the original poster. Thomas is wanting someone trustworthy, with local knowledge, and able to speak Khmer. It would be easier to communicate when you have a translator that knows the city. In the absence of a bona fide guide, a trusted tuk tuk driver is a great resource. In any case, a trusted tuk tuk driver is always a good resource.

oh I got it.

Good for you I too am helping one child go to school , wow a whole 35$ a month!!! I wish every expat would pick one child or family , to directly help I pay school not her family,  I see it go directly to her and her only, to me this is best , donating to a organization can sometimes suck the funds for administrative cost, and christians organizations have a terrible recorded , so for me I can only help one in hopes she one day can do the same! My hats off to you for your  big heart , you give us ex pats a better reputation, ha we need it!! Thanks

Absolutely the best thing - pay fees directly to the service provider. Sadly, I have to admit that I had been recently misled into paying  monies to fund a startup English school for struggling families. Instead, I only realised in the last week of my Cambodian sojourn that we were supporting middle-class landowners kids whose parents didn't know that their kids were used as "show ponies" to garner funds from other unsuspecting foreigners. The penny dropped when the person responsible, blurted out that our Aussie friends were paying his kids English school fees, fees that we had already given to and that another couple had also contributed to a week earlier. I think at best - it was a massive communication breakdown, at worst - well, who the hell steals off starving children?.

"- it was a massive communication breakdown, at worst - well, who the hell steals off starving children?."

Well I'm cynical enough to believe that any lack of communication involved deliberately held information.  Who the hell does it-greedy Cambodias.

You know, you need to give that anti-Cambodian rhetoric a rest. Plenty of shysters in the west and other countries. Heck, most shysters run countries in the west.

Netnz, your right , saying Cambodia is comparable to the USA in terms of corruption, we the Americans are the original shysters , ha these Cambodians have nothing on us , Cambodians in general are  kind honest people just trying to feed their family's, , as are most people in this world , to condemn a whole country is crazy, even USA has great people although the government sucks, one might say the same here?

"You know, you need to give that anti-Cambodian rhetoric a rest. "

First, why.  I have with rural Cambodians for 20 years, am married to wonderful Khmer lady and have been for over 15 years.  Plus I have two children who go to local schools.  My Cambodian is fluent and I enjoy the full respect of my neighbours.

So what exactly is your expertise based on?  What I write is not rhetoric bit commonly.known truth which is verified  daily in all the news media.  Except that it is not known by visitors to this forum who have a right to a more balanced picture than the usual stereotypes of smiling happy people that you are promoting.

As for comparisons with the US I could care less.  My life is here not there. If you made the same. comments about America to Cambodians they would laugh in your face.  My Cambodian village friends simply cannot understand why I chose to live here instead of.moving with my wife and children back to the US.  If you don't want to learn from me fine. Learn the hard way or else live the superficial life of a tourist and not the life of an embedded expat.

Hello everyone,

Could you please calm down and avoid argument? I have removed some inappropriate posts from this thread.

I would invite you to concentrate on the Initial topic.

Thank you.

hahahahaha. Someone thinks because they re married to someone, they cant be xenophobic.

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