Finally in Cambodia!

Growing as an individual can sometimes be a challenge when one becomes too comfortable and familiar with their current environment. The mind and body are programmed to avoid confrontation and instead follow routine. With only three days left until our flight a wave of nervousness rushed over me as I thought about the leap I would be taking from my comfort zone into the unknown.

After what seemed like the longest flight of my life, we finally arrived in Phnom Penh. Although I was quite exhausted leaving customs and immigration, as soon as I stepped into the scorching Cambodian heat I was immediately awoken. With our taxi service waiting outside for us, we made our way to our residence, the Green House Hotel.

Surprisingly, while unpacking, Mr. Chanthan ended up dropping by to say hello. After exchanging greetings, or at least making an honest attempt, we jumped on the motorbikes of the CSSD staff members to head on over to the Russian Market. Food carts, clothing vendors, and a variety of other businesses sprawled each and every inch of the market. Mr. Chanthan at this point decided that it would be a great idea to have us walk back to hotel to get a sense of the city’s layout. As Mr. Chanthan and the other staff members drove off into the distance, a look of nervousness flashed over our faces.

With barely any street signs and a heavy stream of traffic that moves without regard to the order we’re used to in the U.S., navigating the streets of Phnom Penh was a confusing yet exciting experience. After walking down random alleys, attempting to obtain directions from tuk-tuk drivers, and getting lost several times we finally made it back to our hotel to call it a night.

As I type this right now, we’re sitting in CSSD’s office working on individual tasks Mr. Chanthan approved for us. Although it will take a while to get rid of the annoyances of jet-lag and also get used to the Cambodian environment, the future looks promising. Looking back at the start of college I never once thought that one day I would be sitting halfway across the world working on programs designed for the improvement of human life. I’m extremely grateful for the people who have made this learning experience possible and I hope we all get at least once step closer to becoming the individuals we’ve dreamed of being by the end of this trip.


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