1. Meeting kind people from all over the world who go out of their way to help me out and learn about me. I’ve met and hung out with people from Cambodia, England, Australia, Slovenia, Russia and Belgium.
2. The students I’m working with. I’m working with the Cambodian Women’s Development Agency, which offer vocational training for young men and young women. (Please like them on Facebook or follow them on twitter at @CWDA1.) I’m teaching them English (something that is new to me!), and the students are wonderful. They are so excited and kind and extremely helpful.
3. Cheap food and drinks. Iced coffee can be bought for 50 cents. Not helping my addiction.
4. Trying new things like eating crickets.
5. Walking everywhere and stumbling upon interesting stores on my own
6. Free beer. Show Box, a bar a few streets away from my house, offers free beer from 6:30 to 7 p.m. EVERY DAY.
1. Bugs and lizards. Sooo many bugs and lizards. I left snacks wrapped in a box in the kitchen and ants soon overtook it. I also reached into a container of crackers only to be greeted by a lizard with eyes the size of small pearls. I’m not one to jump or scream often due to a pesky creature (see the above about eating bugs), but boy, did that freak and gross me out for a second. I’m now sticking everything in the refrigerator, even my chocolate cookies.
2. Constantly being asked if I want to ride a motorbike or tuk-tuk. I’m asked about every five feet if I’d like a ride. It’s already a bit annoying.
3. Getting a working phone. I think I’ve been very good at staying relaxed and calm with figuring things out, but getting a working phone almost had me in tears — which I largely attribute to the heat and walking all over the city trying to get it sorted out. AT&T said my phone was unlocked before I came over, but apparently it was not. I finally got that fixed and then learned the guy at the SIM card store at the airport gave me the wrong SIM card. After four days, five miles of walking, and at least two instances of the hangry face (yes, hangry. Look it up), I finally had a working phone in my hands.
Lessons I’ve learned so far:
1. Go with the flow. Seriously. Can’t be said enough.
2. Embrace the sweaty, messy, dirty and unknown.
3. I shouldn’t try to do too much at once. Things will always take longer than I think.
4. Always carry toilet paper or tissue. Always.