On Friday i finally left Hamburg and started my journey to Phnom Penh. My wonderful friends and family brought me to the train station, where me and my mother took the train to Frankfurt. We spent one night in a hotel close to the airport, ordering pizza and watching our favorite tv show. This was probably the best and most relaxing way i could say goodbye to my mother.
Saturday morning my mother brought me to the airport in Frankfurt where i met the other volunteers from the German Red Cross Schleswig – Holstein. After a 6 hour flight, in which we spent a lot of time trying out the on-board-entertainment-system and watching movies, we landed in Doha, Qatar. Outside it were about 36°C and we realised for the first time how hot and wet the climate in Cambodia would actually be.
3 hours later we boarded out flight to Phnom Penh, via Saigon (Ho Chi Minh – City), Vietnam. Most of us were able to get at least some sleep and when i woke up, it was already broad daylight outside. In Saigon we waited on board of the plane for about an hour until we took off again to fly back to Phnom Penh.
Upon Arrival in Phnom Penh we had to get our visas, which was, aside from a few difficulties, relatively easy. We got our suitcases and were picked up at the airport by our mentor Andre who brought us to a guesthouse, which is exactly where i’m sitting right now.
Later today we, the new volunteers, are meeting up with other volunteers from SCAO who already spent a year here, to welcome us and introduce us.
So far i’m overwhelmed. Even though i couldn’t see that much yet, what i saw during the car ride from the airport was already enough to fascinate me. Phnom Penh is completely different from everything else i’ve seen in my short 19 years and even though i read a lot of books and blogs on cambodia, it is different from what i’ve imagined.
I’ll write another post in a few days, describing my first impressions, since i’m way too overwhelmed and tired at the moment.