We have learned that many people who don’t speak much at the beginning, often have a lot to say at the end, and this was exactly the case with our horseback riding guide at Happy Ranch Horse Farm in Siem Reap in Cambodia.
This 28 year old young man has a great passion for his work that he’s been doing for more than two years. Before that he was studying as a Buddhist monk in a monastery in a village near Siem Reap, where Mr. Sary Penn – the owner of the horse farm – found him whilst recruiting young and passionate people for his ranch.
Chey, who didn’t want to end up working on rice fields as his family have done before him, agreed to be trained as a guide.
Chey speaks English very well and with a rather cute American accent that – according to his words – he picked up from the customers of the ranch! When you consider that he works from dawn to dusk and the majority of customers speak English, it makes a lot of sense.
From the moment we jumped on the backs of our horses, Mexico and Ahang, Chey made sure we were comfortable, safe, and entertained too. He is an intelligent and talkative guy and we couldn’t be happier having him as our guide for our first horseback ride ever!
For three hours we chatted about life spent living in a Cambodian village, about Buddhist temples, religion, the traditions; but also about his big dreams. Although he loves his current job a lot, he dreams of getting a license as a professional tour guide for Angkor Wat so that he may lead tours in English and Spanish, which can bring him $60 per day.
Although Chey is a very cheerful and curious guy, we could see a slight shadow on his expression when he spoke about his family. He has lost his brother, sister and father – and knowing the history of the country – we didn’t feel comfortable asking for more details.
Meeting Chey was a big bonus on our great experience at the Happy Ranch and we wish from the bottom of our hearts that he follows his dreams, just as he has been doing till now!