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My new life begins at LAX a journal of my 3 months living and working in Phnom Penh, and beyond.

Vietblog Part 1

VIETNAM | Wednesday, 27 August 2008 | Views [1468] | Comments [2]

A lot has happened since my last entry.
First off my volunteer commitment at CWF finished. Last week was pretty chill, we only had a couple days of actually class then some student assessment and on Friday we had a little farewell party with the students. I really had some great students and some of the things they said to me at the party were so sweet. I'm sure I will see them all again while in Phnom Penh, but I will miss seeing them so regularly.
The next day, we had a farewell lunch at the volunteer house. it was a lot of fun and a good way to say goodbye to all the people who I have been living and working with for the last 3 months. It is weird how close we got in such a short amount of time. It felt like just last week I had met them all and was having a hard time remembering everyone's names and now they felt like family. After lunch a member of CRDT gave a little speech thanking us for our efforts. He came all the way to Phnom Penh, just to say thank you to us. His English wasn't so good but he was so sincere it kinda choked me up a bit. It made me really glad that I came to CWF and helped support CRDT.
After lunch everyone started going their separate ways. Sarah was flying to India, Chris and Abbey to Thailand, Nev back to Malaysia and the list goes on. It is weird to think that all of us will probably never be in the same country at the same time again.
I committed to help out CWF for 2 more weeks between semesters. I will be doing placement tests for some of the new students and talking to the new volunteers and letting them know what to expect. I had testing didn't start for 5 days and my Cambodian visa would expire soon so I decided to take a quick Visa run to Vietnam. About an hour after the farewell lunch ended I got on a bus to Ho Chi Minh City. Giada and one of here Cambodian friends were on the bus as well, but we were going separate ways once we got to Vietnam.
The bus left Phnom Penh at 2:30pm. It was a nice bus and the AC felt great, this was one of the hottest days in Phnom Penh. The bus played a terrible Wesley Snipes direct to video movie, fortunately I was able to block out the sound with my iPod. The border area was weird. A bunch of neon lights and Casino's on the Cambodian side. I had been through this boarder before but crossed in day light so I didn't notice all the Casinos. Immigration was painless, took about half an hour to get through then we reboarded our bus in Vietnam. There wasn't as much development on the Vietnam side of the border.
In about an hour in a half we were on the our skirts of HCMC, the traffic was bad and it took us a while to get to the bus stop. The city seemed so big, crowded and developed compared to Phnom Penh it was overwhelming. The bus let me out in Pham Ngu Lao, the back packers area. Giada and I said are goodbyes. I found an ATM and took out a million Dong (about $75), and looked for a phone so I could call Natasha, my couch surfing host. She told me to take a moto taxi to Apocalypse Now, were she was having drinks with with friends.
I arrived at the bar and searched the beer garden for a few minutes before finding Natasha and her friends. She introduced me to her boy friend Dafydd (who I would be taking a motor bike trip with the next morning) and a few of her co-workers. I was pretty tired from packing up, and all the goodbye parties not to mention the 8 hour bus ride. I didn't really want to be at a loud expat club, but I also didn't want to be a downer.
I hadn't been to a club in a while and the loud music and the large crowd were overwhelming and made me feel uncomfortable. I was only too happy to leave after a couple hours. We took a taxi back to Natasha's Apartment and I crashed hard.
To be Continued

Tags: vietnam



Just keeping track of you and your adventures....I love you. It is amazing to me.


  Julie Boyd Aug 29, 2008 11:34 AM


Actually I am reading a little history about Vietnam, I am sure this trip was amazing for you.

  Marlene Dec 4, 2008 3:48 AM



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