Sunday, July 25, 2010

Settling in

So, this keyboard has all its letters rubbed off. Bear with me as i try to type correctly. These past few days have been amazing. Each day I've been in a new country or city. Last night was the first time I slept in the same bed twice. I'll try to go through it all briefly in chronological order. Monday I landed in San Fran for orientation. That was just exhausting. I was up for about 21 hours that day and I ate about 5 peppermints in the afternoon because I was starving. Flying Virgin America was awesome, but the food is super expensive. We all went out to eat together and I met all the awesome people I've been traveling with. The next day we checked out at 8am and spent the day in the airport. Flying to Hong Kong is a marathon.

We got there around 6pm the next day and since we're all jet lagged and crazy, we went to see the town. It looks almost exactly like Chinatown, but with a lot of hills. I did not like the hills. Got up early the next day and took Dragon Air to Phnom Penh. Phnom Penh is awesome. I was only there for a day but we got to ride in these cool taxis called tuk-tuks. Basically, the driver is on a motorcycle and it pulls along this carriage, sort of a smaller version of the central park carriages. For a dollar or so you can get around town really quick. I love it because in NYC i can never afford a taxi. We met all these Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) that showed us around and it was amazing. After a year or two they were all fluent in K'mai and It really gave me something to aspire to. Phnom Penh itself is, i think, the largest city in Cambodia. It's sort of similar to Shanghai, but without all the new development and buildings. Here we did a day and half of orientation and getting a lot of stuff done.

The next day we took a bus to Kampong Cham Province. The town we're in is also city like. It has a huge market and vendors and everything we really need, except tp. Here we did more orienting. We met out LCFs, Cambodians who know English and are going to teach us the language and culture. They are great. Really nice and friendly and they are great teachers. I feel like I'm learning so much everyday. It takes all my energy to just keep myself focused. Every interaction and observation has to be remembered. It really is a 24/7 job. I didn't really feel jet lagged until I got to Kamponf Cham. Ready to sleep at 6pm and I cant helpo but wake up at like 4 or 5 am. I am wide awake at 4am. Today I got my new mountain bike. For those of you that know, I am not good on a bike. Not to mention there are NO traffic rules in Cambodia. So, I really am not ready to go out on my bike in the city. Luckily I'll be going to my training village soon and I'll be sure to practice my bike skills. Today is Sunday, my off day. So i'm a bit more coherent now, but I am having a full day tomorrrow. No idea what it will be like though.

If you want to call check the time difference. I'm usually free at night, not too late though and on Sunday! I am ahead, so right now its 1pm on Sunday, but 1 am Sunday in America. Calling instructions are in my previous post.

Packages anyone? I need bike lube so my new bike doesnt rust and die.


  1. Yeah! Practice your bike skills! The last time I remember you riding your bike was when you couldn't stop or something and hit the side of my head/my ear because I couldn't get out of your way fast enough/didn't understand what you were yelling about until it was too late.
    Glad to see you're having fun in Cambodia! Write more blog entries!!!

  2. Nandini and I should have given you some tips on what *not* to do while riding a bike, so at least there's that :P

    Otherwise, I'm so glad to hear everything is going well!!! And congrats on your MCAT score!! I'll send you a better email sometime this week - but for now looking forward to hearing more wonderful things. Teach us some K'mai!