Thursday, December 30, 2010

Cambodian adventure :: part one

I am back into the swing of normal life and I am posting the notes I kept from my travels in Cambodia. I really hope you enjoy them!

date: 5 December 2010
On my way to my Cambodian adventure, I stopped off at Perth to visit my family on the west side. 
{oh my how the children grow! Me, Alexis, Nathaniel and Liam}

It was a great opportunity to see my brothers and their growing families, along with my favourite Aunty, Bev and the Ross clan. 

We had our first team meeting as well, and got to meet the other members that I didn't know yet, and catch up with those I did! Athol (our fearless team leader and my dad), Lyn (Mum), Roger and his daughter Mariah, Dale and his daughter Katrina, Rob, John, Les and myself making up the rag tag team that are Project Cambodia. It's going to be great!

date: 7 December 2010
It was a rocky start, with poor Les missing his flight from Perth to KL! Not a great idea to leave your passport at home, especially when you live an hour from the airport... He luckily managed to grab an overnight flight to KL via Indonesia and meet us for the second leg to Siam Reap, looking very sheepish and tired. Phew! Major crisis averted!

{Flower spotted at the grounds of the Concord Inn - about the only picture worth sharing!}

Meanwhile the rest of the team had an overnight stay in Kuala Lumpur, after we found our way through the KLIA terminals. All we saw of Malaysia was at the Concord Inn KLIA (free voucher through travel agent).  I woke up early - well before my alarm went off. Not sure if it was the time zone or the excitement of it all. After my shower, I took myself for a walk around the complex. Not much to comment except Malaysia seemed awfully muggy but really didn't see much at all! Breakfast was interesting, but ok and fueled us for the morning. It was a buffet feast of eastern and western food. Vegetarian mutton anyone? Dad ate his share of his favourite papaya.  It was really nice to see all the beautiful colours of the Muslim dresses and headscarves. Made a nice change from the black public servant uniform that everyone wears at home in Canberra.

Siam Reap has come into view, so I will put down my pen and take in the overhead sights - you can really tell that your not in Kansas anymore Toto!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Cambodian adventure: Here I come!

So I have been a bit flat out lately, have working like mad and been getting ready for my trip to Cambodia! For those of you who don't know, I am heading off to Cambodia tomorrow. A group of people, including my dad (the fearless leader), mum and others (10 all up) are on a mission from God.

We are buidling a house (and a half) with Habitat for Humanity, where they do a lot of amazing work for families and the communities in Cambodia and around the world. See, the Government decided to close down the Phnom Penh tip where many families made a living of scavenging through the rubbish. And, they lived there too. You heard right, they lived at. the. tip. So, what's worse than living and working at the tip? Having no home or a way to make a living. That's where Habitat for Humanity comes in. Working with the communities they give a hand up, not a hand out.
So, how does it work?
*Through volunteer labor and donations of money and materials, Habitat builds and rehabilitates simple, decent houses alongside our homeowner (partner) families.
*Habitat is not a giveaway program. In addition to a down payment and monthly mortgage payments, homeowners invest hundreds of hours of their own labor (sweat equity) into building their Habitat house and the houses of others.
*Habitat houses are sold to partner families at no profit and financed with affordable loans.
*The homeowners’ monthly mortgage payments are used to build still more Habitat houses.
So, off I go, into a brave new world, culture and way of life. I can't wait to see what will meet me there. I will be sure to post on my Cambodian adventure and show you all the photos I take.
Thanks to Creative Abundance, Universal Magazines, Sportsmans Warehouse and my generous friends, family and workmates for donating their hard earned coin to get me on the plane.
Crystal x
Inspired by the story? Donate to Habitat for Humanity here. Thanks for listening!