Jill and Jonny

Jill and Jonny

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

And now... a word from our visitor...

It's hard to believe it's been almost two weeks since I embarked on my first solo journey half way across the world. I've seen and experienced so many new things in such a short space of time. Cambodia is a country of overwhelming poverty, more than I could have imagined. We have spent some time in some of Phnom Penh's poorest areas - villages built of rubble and over open sewers. But I have been massively humbled by the welcome, warmth and honesty of the people we've encountered. (Though still slightly perturbed by the lady in the market who told me I was too fat for all her clothes!!)

There have been many funny moments, however, most are associated with toilet experiences and given that I am returning to my mother who reads this blog, I will save the detailed descriptions for private moments with special friends!

Things I have enjoyed most have included playing games and singing with the kids from CfC, meeting baby Jantee, having a wee go at teaching English, seeing some of the projects John and Ann Turner are involved in, and craft-making with a local NGO.

During the two weeks, I visited four villages. These were emotionally difficult experiences, that were almost surreal. Yet, it was a great insight into the reality of Cambodia, a reality that many tourists don't get to see. The children there were so pleased to receive visitors. Language barriers were insignificant for children who simply wanted a hug and some love.

So though I look forward to returning home, I leave with some sadness. I have made many new friends and I will be sorry to have to say goodbye. The lengthy journey out and back - as lonely as it was - has been worth it. It's been a life-changing experience and it's been really good for me to see the type of work Jill and Jonny will be involved in at first hand.