Leaving Phnom Penh

My last day in Phnom Penh was eventful. I got up early to ride across the city on the back of a moped taxi – a motodup, to my first interview. The interview was with the director of an organization that, among other things, holds dialogues between former members of the Khmer Rouge and Buddhist monks. The interview went well, and I was able to finish it in time to squeeze in lunch before my next one. The next one was with the director of an organization that works in areas such as water sanitation. I was lucky to schedule interviews with NGOs working in a variety of areas, including development, education, and community dialogues and reconciliation.

After a long day of interviews and packing, I said goodbye and thank you to a few of the friends I had made in Cambodia. I then took one last tuk tuk ride to the airport, paid an exit tax and fine for overstaying my visa – it was cheaper than an extension, and headed to Seoul for my connecting flight to Washington, Dulles. It took about 20 hours and a three-hour nap in Seoul before I got back to Washington, and when I arrived, I drove home to Blacksburg, Virginia.

A week at home was long enough to get ready for my next endeavor; a two week trip to Richmond. I am now in Richmond volunteering for a non-profit daycare and after school program, and am going to schedule a couple interviews with its staff. I will have more to report after the next week, my last week of interviews and volunteering.