Where can you have dinner with a Japanese woman, English man, Nigerian, two Australians and a Mongolian?
I moved into my apartment on Saturday and since then have been settling in. It is nice to finally unpack my suitcases and be able to make a sandwich. On Sunday morning there was little to do as the power was out and the temperature slowly rising, so I attempted to venture out to a local market to pick up a few household items. I went downstairs and was waiting for my tuk-tuk to pick me up, when my downstairs neighbors (and landlords) began to gesticulate and talk to me. I was clearly not understanding, so they brought over a neighbor who proceeded to explain that I could not leave my apartment as the power is out. After a few moments I realized that the fuse box is in my apartment and they had called the electrician to come fix it, but I am the only one with the keys. Luckily I stressed that I had plans that afternoon so the work was finished quickly.
That afternoon I took part in my first Hash House Harriers run/walk. The Hash House Harriers is a world-wide club (I think with English origins) with a branch in Phnom Penh. Every Sunday the group meets at 2:15pm in front of the train station. I checked in and met a few of the members before we all piled into the back of a truck to set off for this week’s destination. Each week the group plans a different location and locals in the area mark out a trail. The trail is always about 8-10km, with a halfway point at which the truck is waiting with coolers full of water, soda and beer. Once we arrived at the location (which happened to begin at a beautiful Buddhist temple!) we took a ferry across the Tonle Sap river and began our walk/run on the other side. I decided this week to join the walkers so that I could take some pictures— and running in the sweltering heat/humidity didn’t sound like much fun! The walk was beautiful; it took place in a small village that appeared to be agriculturally focused. The halfway point was where the Tonle Sap and Mekong Rivers converge into one before continuing south to Vietnam to empty into the South China Sea.
After the walk I joined with some of the other expats (from all over, as indicated in the title) for a delicious dinner of steamed dumplings at a local Chinese restaurant.
This week has been busy as our program manager from the US is in town (which means I have a friend to each lunch and dinner with!) and I have begun working on some project. In just a little while we are traveling to a project site about 3 hours south from the city in Kampot province to see an educational program that is being held tonight and to meet with program staff tomorrow morning.
Enjoy the pictures!