Surgery a success for ‘Lucky' boy
Peter Chhun, president and founder of US organisation Hearts Without Boundaries, reports that baby Vy Soksamnang, aka Lucky Friday, the second Cambodian child to fly to the US in little over a year to have hole-in-the-heart surgery, successfully underwent surgery in Las Vegas on December 4.
It was a doubly lucky day for the baby boy, originally cared for at the Angkor Hospital for Children in Siem Reap, because while his surgery took place in Las Vegas on Thursday, it was already Friday Cambodian time, in keeping with his name Lucky Friday.
Later in the day, Dr William Evans, the cardiologist who oversaw the operation, said the procedure went smoothly and he expects Lucky to live a full, healthy life.
To add to the almost eerie set of coincidences, when he was discharged in Las Vegas it was already Monday, December 8, Cambodian time, and that date marked Lucky's first birthday.
He will stay in Las Vegas until the end of this week and then, if a follow-up examination gives the all-clear, he will return to recuperate with relatives in Long Beach, California, before his return to Siem Reap scheduled for February.
Hearts Without Boundaries will hold a fundraiser and celebration of Lucky's first birthday on December 21 at La Lune Restaurant in Long Beach.
NBC News local affiliate KVBC in Las Vegas will feature Lucky's story on its news program, probably sometime this week.
Full-moon party offers ‘luge' shots
Siem Reap's X Rooftop Bar co-owners Carlo Tabarini and Scott Interdonato are local legends for their escapades, their latest of which will be an "icescapade".
They are holding a full-moon party at the bar on Saturday night, which will feature the ultimate chill-out factor - punters will be able to drink shots from the bottom of a giant six-metre ice luge, which will extend from the bar's second level to the first level.
French expat DJ D'Tonn will play jungle, reggae and punk music, while food and drink specials will be provided during the night. The party will rage from 9pm until sunrise.
The bar will also be one of the few venues in town for the Cambofest film festival, running from December 26 to 29. Tabarini said, "There is talk of Remy Zero, a band from Los Angeles, performing at the festival."
This will be interesting because Remy Zero, originally from Birmingham, Alabama, has been claiming to regroup for almost three years, and last heard of, they were no more. Perhaps they will be doing a Placebo by having a rebirth gig in Siem Reap?
Green Gecko exhibit honors youth art
The Green Gecko Project is launching into the festive season with two fundraising events.
First up will be an exhibition of "animal art thru gecko eyes", which features artworks by former Siem Reap street kids. The art is a result of workshops run by Sasha Constable and Oun Savann.
The exhibition will open on Monday at the McDermott gallery in the Old Passage. The artworks will be on sale by silent auction until Saturday, December 20, and winning bidders will be notified shortly afterwards.
Then, the night after the art opening, on December 16, Geoffrey Whitty's wine importing company, Fine Star Ltd, will hold a "masked wine tasting event bla bla" at the cooler-than-cool Aha restaurant.
Cost for this night is $30 per person. All proceeds from the wine night and the art auction will support the Green Gecko Project and future creative workshops.
The Green Gecko Project provides "holistic care" to 60 former street kids from Siem Reap, as well as support to their struggling families. A safe haven for playing and learning, Green Gecko is a second home for these kids and for some, their only home.
Happy ranch's dog-and-pony show
An unusual horsey day has now been scheduled to precede the biggest doggy day on Siem Reap's calendar.
The second annual Angkor Fun Dog Show will be held at the Happy Ranch in Siem Reap on Sunday from 11am and the organiser, veterinarian Isi Stitch of Pets'n'Vets pet store, has also announced a horse day for Saturday, also at Happy Ranch.
The day will feature a horse-riding competition with dressage and jumps, and a "kind of" medieval knight tournament.
This will involve non-dangerous knightly stuff with wooden swords and balls being lopped off sticks instead of heads.
Anybody who cares to, or dares to, can participate. Just turn up - wooden swords provided.
The dog show will feature five doggie competitions: a beauty contest, a dog race, an obstacle course, a dog and owner triathlon, and obedience-for-beginners contest.