First Few Days in Phnom Penh

This is a blog about my experience in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and Richmond, Virginia. I am volunteering for non-governmental organizations in these two cities to better understand the NGO-state relationship in different regions of the world. My research will be mostly about how NGOs perceive their relationship with government, because without hearing from government entities I cannot assume fact or fiction. In reality, however, perception is all that matters, as individual perception –while dynamic, is fact to the one who perceives. This blog is about how I perceive the events of my travels and research, and would be unrecognizable if told by an objective narrator.

First Days in Phnom Penh:
I arrived at the Phnom Penh airport after about 22 hours on planes. Upon arrival, the two monks who had been on my plane were greeted by a mob of their orange monastery mates, and I was greeted by my sister who has orange-red hair. We took a tuk-tuk*, a motorcycle with a people-wagon attached, to my sisters apartment, were I took a shower and took some tea. I slept off the jet lag and spent the following morning recovering mentally, only to be jarred by my sister’s rookie moto gear-shifting in the afternoon. At night, I played soccer with a hodge-podge amalgamation of expats and Cambodians. A day later, which is today, I became a tourist and visited Wat Phnom. On the way back to my apartment, I bonded with my annoyed Cambodian moto driver while we took an accidental tour of the city to find my invisible street. I am now to meet the person in charge of the schools at which I will work. I am going to find out how useful I am. While I wait for his call, I am going to stay hydrated, as the sun is apparently my next-door neighbor.

*Pronounced took-took.

I forgot to post my name with the blog while in my travel daze – my name is Daniel Hiller.