Two days ago, I said goodbye to my host family and moved up to Battambang. I traveled for 12 hours and when I arrived, due to a misunderstanding with my new program manager, I came to a place that I won't be able to afford year round. Therefore, I will have to move all of my stuff again, hopefully before the school year starts. The new place isn't so bad, privacy is a bit of an issue. The landlord has a thirteen year old who does not share our American cultural value of privacy (...something about thirteen year old boys here, remember host family #1 in Srang?)
The move was a bit of a nightmare. The first van I was in kept swerving off onto questionable dirt roads as detours to avoid police checkpoints, and as a result we were stuck in the mud for about an hour, and the trip took twice as long. Thankfully, all of my stuff got to my new place (guitar, bike, trunk, 3 boxes, fan, etc) and I was helped by a really nice tuktuk driver named David once I got into the city.
I spent yesterday at the market, outfitting myself for living on my own. Also, I got to meet up with my friend Dave for lunch with his family, which was excellent. Getting myself equipped for living solo has helped me realize how much my host family helped me to get adjusted. Little things like buckets, extension chords, or clothes hangars... I have a mattress now, a stove, a pan, (I cooked pancakes this morning!) I'm starting to get settled here.
Before I left, I finished the well project (which you can help donate to if so inclined) and the ambassador came to see the work the community was doing as they finished up the cement base. Also, Peace Corps helped me to make a copy of "Where there is no doctor" a book that I gave to my friend Sameoun (who helped with the well project) who will be using it to set up satellite health stations in some of the surrounding communities.
I gave my host family a photo album and a big print out a photo we took together and it was hard to say goodbye to them. They were (and are) truly amazing. E.g. my host aunt on the far right called me my first day in Battambang to make sure I was alright. It's around ten hours to make a trip to see them, but I'll definitely be making the trip when I can in this next year.
(All the fam. minus Gorah who was out watching the cows.)
Here's another sunset that I captured from my room on my second to last night:
(This captures about 30% of the beauty.)
(Nothing but sweet sweet di-hydrogen monoxide.)
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