Day three

I know I mentioned this in my last post, but lychee and mint juice really is fantastic! Perfect after a long hot day of training. I have recently returned from a very relaxing massage at Seeing Hands, an organisation that employs only blind masseuses. I felt like a bit of a wimp when only five minutes in I asked her to change from medium to soft. Those ladies have deceptively strong fingers!

Yesterday I visited the organisation I will be working with. It looks like I will get to do a lot of traveling and getting out the office which I am very excited about. I start on 9 May at 8:30. It takes a little while to get there and I’ve decided to use a tuk tuk to travel to work rather than a moto taxi. It will take a little longer and cost an extra dollar, but it’s safer and I will not have to worry as much about bag snatching (I will be traveling to and from work with my laptop). I will be working on a sustainable tourism program in Kep, writing a manual for them. I will also be working in Phnom Penh with people who have been forcefully evicted from their homes. I’m not entirely sure what my day to day work will be yet. I know I will be working with a counterpart, but I’ve not yet met him. I’m looking forward to starting. Visiting my workplace suddenly made this all very real!

I may have found some accommodation. It’s a two bedroom apartment in a good location. The room becomes free on 14 May, big with an en-suite. And it has a chandelier. Who can refuse a chandelier? The rent’s not too bad and includes utilities and a cleaner. It’s also close to Java, one of my favourite Phnom Penh cafes. I’m visiting on Saturday afternoon. We have another week and a half of training based in our hotel and the room isn’t available until 14 May. I’m happy to stay in the hotel for an extra week so ensure good accommodation.

The city has changed a lot since I was last here nine years ago. I’ve already seen a KFC, Dermalogica, Giordano, and believe it or not, a Gloria Jeans. Things that were unheard of last time I was here. There are significantly more cars on the roads, and I’ve seen very few beggars which really surprised me. We visited the FCC for Vijay’s birthday last night. There is now a rooftop bar which I’m sure wasn’t there last time. The rooftop certainly was, but not the bar. We enjoyed happy hour from 5 to 7 with half price (that is $2.75) cocktails!

There is so much more to write, but I don’t want to write too much in one post. I will find some time to write more tomorrow.

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