June 2, 2003

Leaving Cambodia, summer travel plans

potluck at the zoo
Greetings from Cambodia,

Well, this is it, my final update from Cambodia. I will be leaving Phnom Penh by taxi tomorrow morning, and then will fly from Bangkok to Washington, DC with a stopover on the way to visit some friends in Korea. I will continue the Laos trip report later, but for now I will try to bring you up to date on my last few weeks here in Cambodia.

elephants really do like peanuts
Upon arrival back in Phnom Penh I quickly got back into the office routine. I mainly spent time working with Krisna, who is my locally hired replacement. He will be graduating from an IT degree program here in Phnom Penh next month and has been working part time with ADRA for the last few months. Krisna has been doing well and I've been going over pretty much everything I can think of about the computer, phone, email and other technical systems here in the office with him.

smile for the camera
My first full weekend back in Phnom Penh (June 16-19) was actually a four day holiday weekend, but since I had taken plenty of time off earlier in the month I decided to work through the holidays instead of going to the beach like some did. In between spending time in the office I enjoyed another potluck and games night.

The second weekend we had a few visitors in town from ADRA Australia and ADRA New Zealand, so after church we had lunch with them and enjoyed visiting. In the evening we played some games and on Sunday we went to the Phnom Penh Zoo with some of the ADRA staff. We had a potluck style picnic lunch and enjoyed seeing elephants, tigers, lions, crocodiles, monkeys, gibbons and many other animals.
at the zoo with friends
It was mainly nice just to get out of Phnom Penh and away from the city for a few hours. The zoo is situated over an hour south of town, completely away from people and also serves as a sort of wildlife rescue center. In some cases animals at the zoo have been captured from poachers, although I'm not sure how often this happens.

This last Monday I went up to Kompong Thmal for the day to help them configure a new email account and to say goodbye to the staff there. I hadn't seen most of them in a couple of months and wanted to let them know that I am leaving Cambodia. It was nice to see everyone again, but also sad to say goodbye.

typical roadside scene
On Tuesday the Admin office took Jonathan and I out to lunch at a nice Khmer restaurant for our farewell party. Some of the staff also made pizza for us since they know that we prefer it to Khmer food. We do enjoy Khmer food, and we ate some of it as well, but it was very nice of them to bring the pizza.

On Friday I finally settled on plane tickets after checking with several travel agents in Cambodia, Thailand, Cyprus and the US. My routing is a bit complicated and I was checking out several options.
ADRA farewell party
For lunch Jonathan and I cooked pasta with spaghetti sauce for the entire office, so it was a fairly hectic day with trips to the travel agent both before and after lunch. In the evening I was invited over to Hernan and Carina's for a pizza supper which was excellent. It was nice to visit with them since I won't be seeing them for quite some time. They will probably go back to Argentina soon, so maybe our paths will cross there some day.

On Sabbath we had a big potluck and then I spent the afternoon sharing some pictures with my friends here. In the evening I went to my last games night at Scotts where I won the 8 player game of settlers.
saturday night "snack"
After winning I was given a farewell "present" of peanut butter by Ross, the Australian who makes peanut butter here in Phnom Penh. The present would have been nicer if it wasn't smeared in my hair and all over my face, but I guess it's the thought that counts… I was able to get cleaned up, but only by using the shower. After I got the peanut butter out of my hair we visited some more and then I said goodbye to most of my friends here.

Yesterday I made several trips to one of the local markets to buy some last minute souvenirs and things and went to the Phnom Penh water park for part of the day. I got most everything done yesterday, so today I am just packing and catching up on email before heading out.

"gift" from ross
I've already been in touch with some of you about my summer travel plans, but I will include my rough schedule below. I will be delivering a friend's car from Maryland to Oregon this month, but will be taking time to visit friends and family along the way. Afterwards I will spend some time in Maryland before heading to Cyprus to spend time sailing with my parents and sister.

Here are the details:

June 4 Fly from Bangkok to Seoul, Korea
June 5-10 Visit the McGhee family in Korea
June 10 Fly from Bangkok to Washington, DC (Dulles airport)
June 11-12 Drive to McMinnville, TN to visit grandparents
June 15-27 Drive from Tennessee to Portland, Oregon (exact route not finalized yet)
June 27- July 3 Visit grandparents in Portland, Oregon
July 3 Fly from Portland, OR to Baltimore, MD
July 3-14 Visit friends in the Maryland area and attend weddings
July 14-16 Fly from New York to Cyprus with short stopovers (not leaving the airport) in Seoul, Bangkok, and Dubai.
July 16-?? Sailing in the Mediterranean

It ended up being cheaper to fly back to Bangkok before going to Cyprus, even though the travel time will be significantly longer going that direction around the world. I guess I'll get more frequent flyer miles that way though…

Well, that's it for now. Keep in touch and I'll talk to you later (many of you in person even).

Bye for now,


Posted by andrew on June 2, 2003

Very good to get the report and update on your travel plans. We look forward to seeing you June 27.

Posted by: R&D Schwartz on June 3, 2003

Hey Andrew... leaving Cambodia finally. Lately I am thinking about you guys a lot since it turns one year since I returned. I hope you have a good journey back to the States.
Take care and keep in touch!

Posted by: Sam on June 10, 2003

Hey Andrew! It was great having you here in Korea. Guess it's not as exciting as elephants in Cambodia, but we do have our own concrete jungle here. Have fun on your trips...Great descriptions and pictures! See you sometime. Jen

Posted by: Jen on June 10, 2003