Monday, July 19, 2010

Arrival to Phnom Penh

So I left the UK on the eve of the 16th of July, a journey which I must admit I was not entirely looking forward too. The 8h30 flight to Delhi followed by 15h in transit zone is hardly as exciting as it sounds, luckily I managed to mingle with a few other travelers which made the overall wait slightly less painful (that coupled with an overpriced vodka).
I arrived to Bangkok at 7.30am on the 18th, managing a total of 3h sleep as well as a curry (thank you Kingfisher Airline), so needless to say I wasn't completely on top of my game and by this point I had had enough of airports. I waited another 8h for the final leg of my journey during which I managed to catch up on some shut eye. I almost did enjoy it a bit too much as I woke up 20min before the flight, any later and I probably would have spent a great deal more time in airports...

As I arrived to Phnom Penh and got off the plane I was already faced with the humidity and heat (better get used to this!). Vy, the volunteer coordinator from BAB-C picked me up took me to the volunteer house where I would be staying. The tuktuk ride from the airport was intersting, it seems that most people in Phnom Penh ride motos and driving is slightly chaotic ("only worry about what's directly in front of you" I was told by another volunteer), despite this it seems to work and even when we crashed into a moto driver both parties just seemed to continue driving as if all was well.

On my first day in PP, Vy took me to see the surroundings, this included some of the slums as well as the schools which lay within them. Down a small alleyway we visited Aziza, where there were two small classrooms where 30 children where being taught English. The children and teachers welcomed us with a smile and then introduced themselves; never would I have thought that a school could be in these slums. We then went up to the roof of the building where we could see where the people used to live and had been evicted from, in its place stood tall buildings: offices and flats, as well as some workers building more buildings.
In the afternoon, I visited another slum and 2 schools which were by the "lake", I was told that this lake was being filled up in order to build more housing flats and offices, a bit disheartening for all the locals who lived there,who would most probably be evicted...

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