CCF1, the Riverfront, Tuol Sleng, and still more
Trip Start Dec 26, 2009
5Trip End Jan 09, 2010
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Where I stayed
Pacific Hotel on Monivong Blvd.
The flight from Taipei to Phnom Penh was a lot more cramped, but we got to the airport and went through security successfully. There was a stark contrast in temperature getting off the plane in Phnom Penh, you can feel the heat and humidity. I believe it was 80 degrees.
We stepped out of the airport after Victor spent some time reorganizing his bag - splitting the heavy items into two bags.
I was admittedly slightly frustrated that we didn't have a ride set up to take me to CCF1 or the hotel. However, in the end we had many many tuk tuk and taxi drivers eager to take us where ever we needed to get
During our ride, we took in everything using all of our senses - watched how people got around and lived, smelled the mixture of exhaust, heat, waste, and food, listened to the honking, revving, and talking, and well, as for taste, we haven't quite had any authentic Cambodian food just yet.
We got to the hotel safely and found that the room is just fine for us, even though our key doesn't always work.
We then unpacked and freshened up before heading out to check in with my colleagues at CCF1. Although we had some issues later trying to get help in contacting a CCF staff member, as well as locate the CCF1 facility, Victor and I managed to find our way there by foot and check in with CCF staff.
At first they weren't quite sure who I was, but one of the girls I write to, Nay Houy came down to greet me followed by Head of the Sponsorship Department, Patrick McKinlay. Nay Houy was so emotional and I gave her the biggest hug as well as a gift from the Hello Kitty store in Taipei.
Patrick gave us a tour of CCF1. It's truly amazing, - 130 children live and study in this building. The staff here work so hard to make sure that the kids can live, study and receive all the health care and nutrition they need. I feel like I have such a small role in all of this, but I can't wait to get back with all this new-found inspiration and energy
While we were on this tour, Victor and I received a hand-made thank you card from Nay Houy. She's extremely polite and gracious.
Many of the boys latched on to Victor. Victor was nice enough to show some of the kids how to use the camera. We will soon post some photos of the kids practicing for a dance performance.
So we stayed at CCF1 all day and shared dinner with CCF Board Member Cathey Paine at Friends, a restaurant that employs former street kids. I had a cold glass noodle salad with fish cakes and herbs (much similar to Vietnamese Bun). Victor had Chicken Mango Cashew stir fry and a hummus plate. We also had Angkor stout, a Cambodian Beer.
Today, we started off the day with breakfast Boddhi Tree. Victor had a delicious bruschetta with pear and goat's cheese and I had a spinach omelette.
After breakfast, we went across the way to Tuol Sleng, otherwise known as S21. It was a Khmer Rouge prison and place of horrible acts of torture.
Now we are back at CCF1 and planning our next two days.
Check in with you again soon.
Angie and Vivi