A few days ago I received an e-mail from my friend Shaune Vincent saying a refugee camp on the borders of Thailand and Burma needed some help teaching classes to medics in the camp. The medical volunteers coming to teach the class had cancelled at the last minute and the camp was need of help. I decided to go. So, having done some last minute scrambling, I will fly to Bangkok this evening. Sunday morning I will catch a flight to Mae Sot Thailand and be picked up by members from the organization Partners. We will then drive six hours to Noe Poe Refugee camp where I will live for a week and teach classes to level 3 medics.
I am happy about that.
However, that means my time in Cambodia will be shorter than I thought, at least for now.
Last night my new friends gave me a send off.
Today, in Phnom Penh I visited the Kings Palace
My impressions of Cambodia are in stark contrast. Very rich. Very poor. Beautiful people. It’s a land of struggle and beauty side by side, incredible seafood, monks that hold yellow umbrellas in public and talk on cell phones and smoke when no one is looking. Humid humid heat. Humid heat. Dogs. Cats that all look alike. Lizards that chirp. Rice fields, white cows, water buffalo, the most beautiful views I’ve seen. Amazing sunsets. Muddy muddy roads. It’s a land of terrible suffering and horrible stories. But, it’s a country of survivors. I am not finished talking about Cambodia.
I’ve changed in the time I’ve been here too. I am much more confident in my ability to travel than I was three weeks ago. Much less afraid. Three weeks ago I didn’t really know what a moto is. Today, I hailed one and jumped on the back of it without a second thought. Three weeks ago I was spooked by the dark three sided sheds where I now eat in because they are restaurants or the gas stations that use recycled liter soda bottles for holding tanks, or the living organism of traffic where only the largest and fittest survive.
Anyway, the next time you hear from me it will probably be from Thailand.