Today, the Careers team had a meeting w/ the Job Centre in Battambang, so me and my team were driven to our meeting in a taxi. This was the most traumatising ‘taxi’ journey I’ve ever had in my life, because 1) the driver was driving w/ one hand (more like 2 fingers), 2) the driver almost ran over a dog, 3) at one point, the driver was counting money in both hands whilst the car was somehow still moving. Mate. Sitting in the front seat of that car made me really appreciate my mum and dad for migrating to the Western World and raising me up in a place of such structure and safety.
Anyhow, the meeting went well. Job Centre are more than happy to be present at our impending Careers Fair that we are hosting in our village, but on the condition that there are more than 50 people present.
After the meeting, we went around Battambang and I bought a blue saroung for my mum, some jewellery, and a pretty fan (*future me talking* which literally broke into 100 pieces 2 days later). We left to go back to Koas Krala at about 1:14pm, and surprise surprise, along the way, the driver was stopping all over the place; collecting objects from men who suddenly just appeared on the road, then passing these objects onto other men along the way. The hustle is real.
When I arrived back home, I legit had my best moment of being here so far;- When I arrived and Ratana (my host mothers grandson) spotted me, he started running towards me with the happiest smile on his face, arms wide open to embrace me. I started running towards him, arms out, preparing for the hug of the century. When we got close enough, I reached out for him and swung him high into the air then back into my arms, as he giggled and squealed! He is soooooooo cute. Ratana and the puppies in our work office are the cutest things in the world!
PS: Today, during lunch in Battambang (with Kakda, Sophea, Lucky and Rachel), I promised Lucky that I will come back to Cambodia again to attend her future wedding. We both entwined pinky fingers as a promise, so it now HAS to happen. I deffo want to visit Cambodia again as a tourist.
PSS: Also, I’m going to start chilling w/ the Khmer volunteers more for lunch. They don’t spend more than $1 a day, whilst us UK volunteers happily spend $5.
I’ve just come to realise a few reasons as to why I’ve been feeling a bit demotivated and disappointed with this volunteering placement. I’ve come here with so much expectations; 1) I expected me and my counterpart to become like best friends and be thick as thieves, 2) I expected my host family to adore me and treat me like a princess, 3) I expected to make an extremely close friendship with one of the UK volunteers.
Really and truly, I feel like none of the above has happened.
Then again, it has only been two weeks, and tbh I should’t consider these things as a reason to hate this placement. I should instead find a way around these things, embrace these issues, and make the most of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. But a tip for myself in the future… LEAVE YOUR EXPECTATIONS AT THE AIRPORT.