At lunchtime today it hit me. My experience in Cambodia is almost over! The year sure has flown by, I still have a few adventures before my flight home but in reality it is all wrapping up.
What a year it has been… I’ve lived by myself in a foreign country, killed spiders the side of my hand, ridden a moto, climbed over temple ruins that are older than I can even imagine, traveled throughout much of the region, and met some amazing new friends.
Even though you try not to formulate an idea of what you may be faced with, what your living conditions may be like, you still do have these images of what it may be like. The image that I drew before I arrived in Cambodia was nothing like the reality. The reality was both better and worse… worse for the poorer and better for the rich. I never imagined the numerous cafes and restaurants that would serve quality, international cuisine… or the ‘Las Vegas’ strip which houses hotel after hotel… or the thousands of Lexus’ that roam the streets… I did however, expect the poverty, and whilst there is an emerging middle class in Cambodia, at the moment the difference between rich and poor is just so great. I hope that this middle class start to gain some more momentum, and fight for better health care, education, human rights and the like. These are the people that can make a difference and move their country into a brighter future.
The organization that I worked with – Anjali House – does amazing work and has some fabulous people associated with it. There are tireless employees and volunteers that only want what is best for the students and their families. All I can wish for is that the students at Anjali House follow their dreams and become doctors, mechanics, nurses, hotel managers, electricians, and the list goes on and on. Mostly though I want them to be outstanding members of their communities, helping others and making a difference where they can. I am sure they will achieve this, and take the opportunities that are presented to them! For the organization, I hope that a magical little fairy (Sponsor/Donor) comes along and makes all of our dreams a reality, keep up the hard work!
Join me on Wednesday, 30 May 2012 for a movie fundraiser at Hoyts, Garden City to raise funds for the organisation!
I will leave Cambodia with more stamps in my passport (Laos, Vietnam, China, Thailand, Malaysia and Cambodia), some amazing new friends and a slightly different view on how I view the world.
But… I can not wait to get home, I am looking forward to so many things about returning to Australia; Bella & Cooper (and taking them to the beach), spending time with my family and friends, live AFL, a pillow that is right for my neck/back, BBQ, fish & chips, good coffee, Freo, cheese, a ‘structured’ workplace with temperature control, a comfy couch, good beer, trying this new phenomenon ‘Rekordling’… and so much more…
And, of course I will miss Cambodia; amazing and cheap food & cocktails, the life style, manicures & pedicures, massages, easy & cheap travel options, the numerous public holidays, conversations at work about which young adult/s killed and cooked the chicken the night before (forever known as ‘ChickenGate’)…
I am looking forward to my next adventure, even I don’t know what and where it will be yet, but I start with three months at home, working with a friend at the WA Olympic Committee, then who knows…
As for my expectations;
- I was shocked by the lack of rain, but flooding sucks!
- The food was not awesome (although it was in Vietnam and Thailand), it was not a fusion and I don’t think I ate dog, but I did eat hairy spiders, crickets and snakes!
- Touch wood (because I still have a few weeks left in country) I only got really sick with tummy troubles once!
- The Khmer’s are lovely, and I look forward to visiting my friends in the years to come!
- Angkor Wat… Mmm… Yeah, whatever?! The architecture of it is amazing though (I learnt all about this whilst getting a foot massage at the foot massage/documentary place)… Bantaey Chhmar and Bayon take equal prize for being my favorite temples… However, and yes, I do know it is different, ‘the Great Wall shits all over the Angkorian temples’…
- Don’t take this the wrong way Mum and Dad, but I didn’t really get homesick…
- The markets are awful, everything is ‘same same NO different’, although Chiang Mai has wicked markets!!
- The language wasn’t very difficult to learn, but most people I know speak great English, so I got a little bit lazy
- I sent mail and got real mail, although some were lost in the Khmer postal system. I am still most upset about not receiving Pop’s letter!
And that is all folks, see you in OZ!!!