By signing up to volunteer for 5 weeks, we also committed ourselves to being temporary residents of somewhere new. After 2.5 months of travel and spending no more than 4 days in one place, it was a relief to actually unpack our rucksacks and know where we were going to be for a while.
Phnom Penh, home of 2.2 million people, is definitely different from life in Falmouth! And actually a really fun experience, even for Sam who has never lived in a city and struggles with the occasional crossing of the Tamar to the big city of Plymouth!
The traffic is pretty crazy, but a lot of the architecture and wide boulevards are beautiful and there are some great local and western style bars and restaurants.
Our volunteer company organised us somewhere to stay – the wonderfully quirky Tattoo Guesthouse – which is like home now. It’s pretty near the centre of the city and is full of volunteers from all over the world. We have made some really great friends, even if most of them are under the age of 22 and we are the old married ones!
Being able to stop for longer than a few days has given us time to do things that we normally like to do, rather than just see the sights. At home we love watching films and haven’t really seen one since we left to travel. So a trip to the community movie house The Flicks, was such a treat, especially the bed like cushions they provide as seats. We even managed to see a film without superheroes and with Zac Efron!
We’ve also spent a day at an outdoor swimming pool, played five-a-side football (Sam, not me), tried to go walking when it’s not been too hot and spent quite a long time trying to find good cheesecake. We haven’t found it yet, but we still have two weeks to enjoy our time as temporary ex-pats, and now that I’ve managed to get used to the shock of getting up at 6am for work every day, we will be trying to fit in as much stuff as possible.