Day 1 in Guatemala 

The culture here is insanely different from the one we came from. Sometimes it’s hard to see the glass half full past the chipping paint and metal scrap roof. In other words I don’t think it’s easy to live in a first world country then all of a sudden, come to a third world country where you would expect it to be just as privileged. But it’s not. The world just doesn’t work that way in my experience. On my part, no disappointment was felt because I chose to see the glass half full. Instead of the chipping paint I see the vibrant colors the old houses are painted. Instead of the metal scrap roof I see the sun light coming through them. It’s not always easy to see the light, I’ll give you that. But let me tell you this place is beautiful: old houses where kids speed by on bikes to the women head to toe in all the pastel colors imaginable with fabrics or bracelets wrapped loosely around their arms.



On to day two


Day 1: Phnom Penh

We finally land in Phnom Penh. Our friend Eric sends his driver who arrived and we drove off into Cambodian traffic.

Eric's driver Singha
Eric’s driver Singha

The traffic is so bad it takes 45 minutes to drive 8KM (four miles). As we drive in the car tuk-tuks*, and motorcycle cycle bikes/scooters came so close to our car that if we had the window down they could have easily have high-fived us. Our driver said he was used to it aOnd it was normal. While he was driving us to our hotel he stopped at some sites, which we will explore more thoughly later in our vacation. There are statues, towers, monuments  and last of all our favorite, the bat tree.

Phnom Penh Monument
Phnom Penh Monument

Before I tell you about the bat tree let  me explain how hot it was. BOILING. 97 degrees and 80% humidity. I nearly died. Now for the bat tree: The bat tree is this huge tree with tons of leaves. But if you look closely you can see hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of bats! Bats that we thought looked small curled up and asleep, but when they flew they were huge! I don’t know how the tree could have sported all the wight! It was amazing.

The Bat Tree
The Bat Tree

Between the jet lag, traffic and humidity we are dizzy and our driver takes us to Brown’s, the Phnom Penh’s Starbucks. I get a scrumptious passion fruit mango smoothie.


Mango, passion fruit smoothie's
Mango, passion fruit smoothie’s

The streets surrounding the city center are lined with small buildings made out of metal shards and tarps except for some small cafés. There is trash everywhere you look and stray animals. The discrepancy between the rich and the poor is gigantic. It’s not what most people are used to but that’s how Cambodia is, and I’m here to see it all.

We get to the Raffles Hotel where we are staying. It is a huge elegant Colonial hotel that has been the ex-pat center of Cambodia for decades. The lady escorts us to a comfy couch area in the lobby. We hand the lady our passports and we think we hear her say: stay here and have a drink. We think we miss heard her because we hadn’t ordered any drinks and we didn’t plan on it. But soon enough another lady arrives holding three tall glasses of ginger iced tea with sugar cane and an orchid flower on top of it. It tasted so refreshing! And she brings soothing cold towels so we can wipe our sweaty brows.  Before we knew it we where checked in to our amazing room and on the side of the pool.

Cold refreshing check in towels
Cold refreshing check in towels


Cheers - Ginger ice tea at the Raffles hotel
Cheers – Ginger ice tea at the Raffles hotel

*tuk-tuks: a motorcycle in the front, a small metal carriage in the back, it should only sit four but this is Cambodia!

27 hours of planes

We start in SFO, first we board. There is a woman flight attendant there to great us, she is wearing a batik. A word that means a dress that specifically came from Singapore.


On the plane before we take off the flight attendants in batiks pass out damp warm towels. It feels so good in my hands and face. Soon we take off and I surf through the tiny  tv looking at the movies and listening to music and doing my homework. As I’m looking out my window I see a peculiar shaped cloud that’s simply a straight line. It goes on for as far as the eye can see.


The food on the airplane was yummy but the best part was the dessert after the first meal, an It’s-It’s.  A chocolatey, oat meal cookiey, vanilla ice creamy, It’s-It’s!


We land in Seoul, North Korea. We wait for the airplane to get a tune up, and cleaned, and for the new passengers to board. We walk around the airport and we find a little Snoopy cafe with statue of Snoopy standing in front of it, it was funny and it made me think of my Uncle Brad who loves Snoopy. We get back on the plane and fly six more hours, then we land in Singapore. So close to our destination! But sadly we still have a six hour layover. I’m in the middle of writing for my blog when my iPad starts to buzz. I’m so tired and jet lagged, that I just absent-mindedly answer. Soon enough the familiar face of the one and only nugget (Amelia N.) pops up. I’m so excited and I can’t believe I’m actually talking to her but it gets better because she starts running around the hall ways at my school stopping all my friends. I explain to everyone that I’m not in Cambodia yet but in Singapore at my 6 hour lay over. Nobody understands but they are all happy to see me.

Mohammed I, Mohammed II, Mohammed III and the King and I

We’ve had three guides named Mohammed. Each one of them have funny expressions. Mohammed I, who we spent seven days with said: “no problem in the bush”, “fantastic like plastic”. But most of all he said, “that’s aaaaawwwwwwwsome,”

Mohammed II was our guide in Fez, (but his name was really Ahmed), and he said: “Amelia you are happy as a clam”

Mohammed III has been our guide for 11 days. When he is telling us about the history of Morocco he often pauses and says “etcetera, etcetera, etcetera,” just like in The King and I.

Kitties in the Kasbah

Everywhere we go in Morocco, there is a kitten or a cat. I pet the cats and give them Vache Qui Rit, I hold the kittens and give them creme. All the cats are very well taken care of, and well feed. Turns out that every family in Morocco has a 5 cat limit per household. It’s a good thing I don’t live in Morocco, because there would trillion felines in my house. Viva the kitties!

p.s. Adi this is your special post!













Marrakech Express

We woke up early and went straight to the train station, to hop on a train to Marrakech. We had own little table and nice seats in 1st class. I looked out the window and saw the Moroccan landscape go by, and soon 3 hours had passed and were in Marakesh. Right as we got off the train, the first thing we noticed was how unbelievably hot it was. I immediately took off my sweater, put on my hat, slipped on my sunglasses, and pulled out my bandana.

Our Riad Miski, had a driver waiting for us. He drove us into the old city and then skillfully worked his way through the narrow and busy alleys towards our Riad Miski. We had to carry our bags and walk the last little bit of the journey, we knocked on a simple black door, and viola, Christine greet us with a nice hot cup of mint tea and showed us to our bedroom. While Momma nathalie and momma laurie worked out the buisness part, i explored the wonderful riad. i discovered birds singing over my head on the third floor and a wonderful on the first floor in the middle The Riad. It was a very open building and quite pleasant. After I was done exploring the wonderful Riad, Christine took us around the Souk. First she worked her wa through the maze to take us to her favorite wood carver. I discovered two things that I liked, a magic box that even Leonardo Di Caprio could not figure out how to open, and a scary box filled with a wooden carved snack. when you opened it the snake would snap out and bite you with his wire teeth. The shop owner also made me a good luck charm that he carved with his toes and strung a red string for me. Then it was off to Christine’s favorite soap maker. We wound our way though the twisty labrynth, to the soap maker. as I walked in a smelled a burst of lavender, verveine, and blood orange as well as some scents I didn’t even know the name of and we bought wonderful soaps there.

We found this very interesting spice man who showed us a mixture of amazing spices and smells. He gave me a little satchel filled exotic spices. We inhaled vaporized mint and felt the stinging in our thoughts. He burned frankenscene and mirth rocks for us to smell, and amazing rose and orange blossom oil. We will have to find him again, because sadly we were out of money.

Then we made our way to the main square, which was filled with snake charmers and monkey handlers. We racked our brains to remember which was the orange juice seller that Ginger and her family had gone too on their vacation. But we could not remember and finally settled for number 42, the nicest looking man. His sweet cold refreshing, fresh squeezed orange juice was amazing and in the end it turns out that 42 was the right one.

Then we went back to the Riad and had a wonderful homemade dinner on the roof top terrace with the birds serenading us. At dinner Frances, Christine’s husband, showed me some super cool Tricks, especially the one with 3 glasses, 3 knifes, and a bottle of water.

Christine had to return the Riad we were on our own in the souk. We made our way down to our room and fell asleep with birds singing their sweet songs. Good night Morocco, good night Marrakech.






Down the Casablanca memory lane

I swam at the Tahiti Beach Club, where Mommy Nathalie used to swim as a child. There are pools and the ocean to choose from. I met a nice girl, named Jasimina, in the pool. We had a great time together diving, doing hand stands and trying to do cartwheels underwater.

Then Momma Nathalie, Mommy Laurie and I, took a petite taxi to my great grandmother, Mami Lidi’s, apartment. Blvd. 11 Janvier. And visited the courtyard where Momma Nathalie used to feed the kitties, fresh fish snacks.

Next stop, we went to the Parc de la Ligue Arabe, where Momma Nathalie would play and eat barbe a papa, and pumpkin seeds as a kid.

Then off to dinner at the Jewish Country club, where I had a giant plate spaghetti.

The kind manager, drove us back to our hotel after dinner and I finally went to bed. What a big day.














Amelia in Casablanca with Jacques and Armand

Jacques pick us up at our hotel and took us to Restaurant du Port. I had a delicious salad with french fries while everyone else enjoyed giant piles, of the freshest stinky fish. For desert we had the sweetest watermelon, I ate a lot of it maybe 6 pieces. Jacque and Armand kept calling Pappi Max in Los Angeles, California. It was 3am for Pappi Max! They would give him just enough time to fall back to sleep, then call him again. They were hysterical, and kept laughing like little boys. I felt a little bad for Pappi Max but it was so funny and i might have encouraged them a little bit. Afterwards Jacques drove us to the luxurious mall and we said good bye. Then my moms took me shopping for a bathing suit, because I didn’t want to swim in the ocean without one!










Morning in the medina

We woke up in Casablanca, and had sweet mint tea and Moroccan crepes. We got confused with narrow alleys, twisty lanes. There were a lot of low door ways.Those are the home of rich people!
The door ways are low so that the people coming in have to bow down. I met some nice10 year old
girls and boys who were on their lunch break from school. We saw lots of cute stray kitties, cats dogs and puppies. We even found a bakery with our noses, but it is not the kind of bakery where you can buy bread. It’s a bakery where local moms and grandmothers make their own dough, shape it the way each family likes it, and brings here to have it baked.