Stella’s Blog – 9th October 2015

Just a quick note to say I’m going to the school tomorrow – I have had to delay going due to the monsoon and various other transport problems (but thats all part of the challenge!) I am going tomorrow on the back of a motorbike so wish me luck – 2 hours each way : ) … they tell me the road has been repaired since the last time I went, which is good news… if we weren’t dodging potholes we were swerving round broken down vehicles and spilt cargo.

In the meantime I’ve been checking out the land registry and checking that it is owned outright by the correct people so the government can’t come along and push us off the land – they do that a lot and then sell the land off, way out of normal person’s pocket. Anyway its all checked out fine which is brilliant and this means we will be fine to build the workshop with confidence. I also have a guarantee we can use the land for the next 10 years with an option to extend, so we’re good to go!

Tomorrow I will be working out where we will put in the new water pump (I knew my water divining party piece would come in good use one day…) and then I will measure up where the workshop will go. Will send you some pics over the weekend.

Thats great news your end re getting the money in – I think all at once should be fine thank you. I will keep all receipts of course although they will be in Khmer, but at least its ‘evidence’ of expenses.

BTW I thought you’d like to see the land registry doc – as you can see Kimsan’s father is illiterate and has signed with a thumb print – a common sight on documents over here. The other signature is of the village chief and the district chief…- Can’t imagine they have the technology to check thumb prints in a dispute but I guess that would be the same problem as authenticating a signature…

Powerpoint Powerpoint Powerpoint


Kimsan’s family have lived on that land since they returned from a refugee camp on the Thai border 27 years ago – the country was in turmoil for a long time after the Khmer Rouge were over thrown in 1979. Starvation and disease was a massive killer in the following decade. It took such a long time for international aid to arrive and break through into the country. Obviously they had killed all the doctors and those remaining were suffering from PTS and malnutrition.

As you can see the document is only dated 2009, which is how long it took for Kimsan’s father to save up and pay for the document. There are many, many farmers in similar circumstances, who still don’t have papers and are now being kicked off the land as the government sell the land.

As they don’t yet have a workable taxation system, this, corruption and ‘fines’ are a few of the many ways the country finances itself…