Thursday, June 28, 2012

Our Credo

Recently, I have discovered that my website has been emulated by many home stay businesses throughout Cambodia, in fact in one they lifted a picture of my boy, another of my mother-in-law, and several of the interior of our cabin and a few of our guests.  After I recovered from my fit of righteous indignation, another issue far more germane to my interests came to mind.  OK, I'm writing what advertisers want, but am I writing what our potentials guests want to read?
So this is what we are about. We promise you a "non-touristy" experience, yes you are a customer, but you are also our family guest,someone who deserves more than just a cordial relationship that one expects from any business relationship.  You also deserve to profit from our deep knowledge of rural Cambodia.  You may ask any questions of us or our village speaker guests; we have no canned presentations, all is fresh and spontaneous, none of that "oh look here come the dancing girls now." There is no gift shop, no specials, only what we promise you on the website.  We want you to see how 70% of the population lives; something that 90% of the tourists don't see. It bears repeating these villagers are not just "natives", they are our friends and neighbors.
Another issue I wish to touch upon is this.  You will see poverty-real poverty, but that is also not our purpose i.e. this is not a poverty tour.  We want you to meet them and appreciate not  pity them; they are the most resilient people I have ever known.  And because they live within modest means they face real problems, ones which build character.  They do not worry if they will have a new car next year or the latest i-pad.  They might worry if they will get enough money from their cattle sales to afford the dowry that they must pay the bride's family.  Decisions that by necessity build character and enhance reputation.

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