Phnom Penh, Cambodia (CNN) -- Aaron Cohen first met Jonty Thern and her older sister, Channy, in 2005 while singing in a karaoke bar in Battambang, Cambodia. He has come back to see them every year since.
The California native often schedules his trips for November, the month when Cambodians celebrate the Bonn Om Teuk water festival, marking the end of the rainy season.
"The whole country comes together for boat races. Hundreds of thousands of people descend on the waterfront and it's filled with colors and flags," said Cohen. "You know my thoughts about the water festival always include Jonty, because she and her sister would get a day pass during the festival.
"There was a smile on his face when he started the sentence, but by the time he had finished, it was gone.
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