Cambodia – a country of one dollar

We are finishing an 18-day stay in Cambodia, a city located next to the Angkor temple complex, probably known to almost everyone as the largest in the world.
We entered Cambodia from Slovakia on March 3 crossing, which was probably the worst place during our entire trip and the worst border crossing in life. Harmider on the Thai side could endure somehow (a matter of habit), but on the Cambrian side it was already a real cosmos. Maybe because we were really counting on catching a foot to Siem Reap – we walked with backpacks for an hour, trying to catch anything and at the same time chasing off every step from people trying to take us to a taxi / collecting money.
Just asked when he showed us more or less where he is. Many of them said quite seriously that he was gone and we have to take a taxi. Earlier (before check out from Thailand) we were caught by a Cambodian genius who wanted to convince us that a visa to Cambodia can only be made in the building before the border for 1500 baht. Fraud on this day was not over – the price of the bus $ 10 for 150km is a bit too much for us. We enjoyed the bus stop on the way – we had to leave it for 20 minutes due to “cleaning” – there was no cleaning, but shopping at nearby stalls by passengers was done. As you might guess, the bus also did not arrive in the center of Siem Reap, only 5km in front of it to the mini terminal in the middle of nowhere. At this point, the average phalanx is forced to take a tuk tuk for 5 bucks. We managed to get out on the street and catch a foot – it saved our first impression of Cambodia, because this turned out to be a taxi driver who was coming back from the airport and did not want money. Siem Reap Center does not match the overall image of Cambodia – every step of the pub, party, driving tuk tuk drivers, prostitutes. Everything for tourists. We found a hostel for 4 dollars / person and went for a walk around the area – eh, it’s definitely not our atmosphere. Luckily tomorrow …
 They are all led only by Sokhom, which is why volunteers are so important. Most children learn the basics – abc, days of the week, colors. An advanced group can barely make up sentences. Sokhom does it completely for free – on weekends he goes to the city to teach English and does some translation – only then he earns to support his family.
Sokhom arranged accommodation in the form of a room in one of the houses in the area and food for 8 USD per day. Next to us lived Rumi from Japan and Frances from Hong Kong, who were also volunteers.
The whole adventure with volunteering has warmed our hearts to Cambodia. We met children and people who didn’t see us in dollars – they saw us as “teacher Tamara, teacher Greg”. We know we want to come back here again. Not enough that they were happy with our presence and willingness to help, the girls finally gave me a few gifts and letters
Together with other volunteers, we prepared sweets, sang songs and watched the film. The kids open up and attach very quickly – after each lesson they have a habit of cuddling up to teachers, an amazing feeling. After returning to Poland, we want to think about the possibilities of help for this school – Sokhom does not get a penny from the state or other organizations, he is not even contacted. Certainly, you would have to do more advertising on sites with volunteering, because so far volunteers are only on recommendation.
We spent the last two days exploring Angkor, all on bicycles, which we drink

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *