Photographer's Note

North of Siem Reap city, just before Tonle Sap Lake, there is a mountain temple by the roadside. Walking up the mountain took 20 minutes. Along the way, these monks were busy at work on the road fully dressed in orange robes, laying bamboo mattress as reinforcement to build for concrete road pavement. I wonder where they learned how to use bamboo mattress as reinforcemetn? I had experience in doing road projects using either bamboo or timber mattress on soft ground conditions, but never on a good solid hilly ground. In this respect, I can say they are knowledgeable modern-day monks! I have seen monks doing things but never technical work such as this.

It is a bit difficult to be dressed on a hot afternoon in these robes to work like this. I had no idea who the man in white would be. Looking at the bamboo mattress, there were very well prepared and laid with good skill and workmanship. As I walked up the hill, it was dusty with gust of winds but the monks with the orange color struck a strong view which I could not resist in shooting. I might even suspect the monks were trained in class and perhaps this work could be their practical, with the man in white doing evaluation assessment of work?

Thinking of this daily life, I cannot comprehend how this would work. Monks doing work for free, in return for rice and vegetarian food. I used to think only they learn Buddhism and prayers, but here I see physical hardwork contributing to a small part of nation building activity. I would never have learned this in university economics class. Non-profit. From my observation, the mattress grids were done in excellent workmanship, no cut-corner shortcuts!

sigma 70-200mm f/2.8, iso1000 [forgot to adjust after shooting portrait in shade], FL200mm

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Additional Photos by Bill Laucp (trekks) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2260 W: 172 N: 4300] (14348)
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