Going Forward, Back to Cambodia


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Asia » Cambodia
January 30th 2014
Published: June 10th 2017
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Geo: 11.5625, 104.916

Yesterday I was in Sydney, Australia, and now, through the magic of flight, I am back in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. After spending a month in New Zealand and Australia, in comparatively luxurious digs the whole way, re-seeing this part of the world is a wrenching experience, something that had not occurred to me when planning this trip. I don't know how I could have done it differently, but going from wealth, which makes life easy, and comfort, which is addictive, to a third world country where most don't have a whole lot of either, is a transition that will take some time. The last time I was here, two years ago, I was coming from a flooded relatively unknown town in Thailand, with all the trash and smell and poverty that doesn't get recognition or the money that poured into Bangkok to help clean up that big waterlogged city, so I was "used" to the noise, stench, rubbish in the streets, stepping over uneven or sidewalks demolished in the flooding, being a target for motor scooters and cars. Today I think I'm a little in shock, but it will pass as I tuck my memories of New Zealand and Australia away, and try to open my eyes to new experiences, new impressions. It's a difficult transition, however, to get re-used to seeing men urinating right in the street (haven't seen a woman do this yet), children walking around in very dirty clothing, people sleeping on tables in their market stalls, dead rats on the street, and garbage everywhere; in fact, I do not remember Phnom Penh being this dirty two years ago! But it is now.

Tomorrow Mr. Huit will come in his tuktuk to pick me up at the Spring Guest House ($9/night for a walkup room with a bed, a fan and hot water), and we'll take two hours to get to the children's community, where I'll again be volunteering for a month. I'm sure there will be changes there too, and the children will have grown, but I will try to see it again with new eyes. I have looked forward to being with the children since I left; now I am almost back.

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30th January 2014

Hi mama! That's great so happy for you:)
30th January 2014

Hi, Your descriptions are wonderful and interesting!
30th January 2014

You are a wonderful observer and writer, capturing so much that it makes me feel as though I am there with you.
3rd February 2014

Laura, thanks so much for sending the link to your travel blog. I'm so glad that your last day in Sydney went well. You looked so sad as the coach pulled away from the hotel. It was such a pleasure traveling with you. I hope we will continu
e to stay in touch. You are such an adventurous soul. I know that even if I never travel again, I can live vicariously through you! Take care of yourself as you continue this latest adventure.Eva
8th February 2014

Thanks so much for sending the link. How exciting! I'm looking forward to reading about your adventures.

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