The First Month

December 22, 2018/0/0

I am looking out of the window of the airplane and the green´n brown landscape with the serpent Mekong River spreading under me. That means I’m gonna to be there in a while, in few minutes I´m gonna land in Cambodia and stay for six months? Well, taking a deep breath, I can do it. The adrenaline is pulsing in my veins so quickly that I can feel the heartbeat in my throat.
3 weeks and 3 days later – I am lying in a hammock in my friend´s parent´s wooden cottage, in Battambang. Me and Naisean, we are the same age. We wash the clothes, we laugh at our absolutely different pronunciation and listen to the “in love” songs because she “likes it” and she´s getting married the next a year.

3 days later on a scooter, we head back to a village, which is about 4 hours away, to teach children at high school and elementary school, almost without civilization, in a wild nature, just 27 km from the border with Thailand. I personally do not have any experience in teaching, but this is not even a need here. Children love games and want to learn and give you lots of energy. I´ve met a lot of new people even though the language barrier is very big here. I only speak English with a couple of young people, mostly university students; otherwise I have to put a lot of effort to the explanation of what I want to say at all, sometimes it’s fun. Learning a few essential Khmer worlds is a must for me. In less than a month in Cambodia, my first meeting with Asia was and still is very intense and chaotic. In three weeks, I managed to sleep in 8 different beds, and in 6 provinces. For example, I´ve been with a great group of young people from KYSD (focusing on clean environment) for a few days in the area of Kampong Chnang to collect plastics in nature, bathed in the waterfall, ate various meals, tried a spider, a worm, or a grasshopper , palm wine with villagers and other specialities. I´ve slept with a knife on my bed in wooden huts, some nights only on wood with cats beside my head and I´ll sleep like that for another two months.

Local people are attracted to my white skin and red hair, some are afraid of my safety, they say, “because you are so white”. They look at me, from head to toe, say hi and wave with a smile, invite me closer, they want to talk to me. I greet them back with a smile and a wave, but for now I keep my distance. If the dog whirrs at you, whirr at him and do not turn back, one has already jumped on my back. Most often, they eat three times a day rice with a small grilled fish, an egg and with three kinds of soup. Cambodians are very hospitable and selfless people, I feel petted in their company. But I’m fighting with their smacking, haha. I´ve lost 5kg in 3 weeks and got sick with temperature. The biggest joke is when a poor, fleshless Cambodian asks you how much you weight, that you are so skinny. I have almost won the fight against my sickness, but for sure, I have to start eating more, even though it’s hard for me to eat rice 3 times a day. I will not lie; I miss Moravian bacon and Czech beer, haha. My first month was filled with nice but also with unpleasant things like sadness, tears and joy, but that´s how it goes with travelling and I know that all bad is good for some reason. I know that this stay, this life, this volunteering here is a huge experience that enriches me a lot, sets priorities and makes me stronger. New me, Loading …

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