As we three travelers finished our journey to Cambodia, it was hard to keep track of what day it was. It was actually early on Thursday that I finished this, or so I’m told. You will probably also be confused by the time you finish reading.
Our flight to Phnom Penh is only six hours long and I am on it now, as I write. FT is 9 am Wednesday but over here when we land it will be exactly 12 hours later. I can tell my body thinks I should be awake, although I am confused enough that I will be able to go to sleep when we get to the guest house. It is always good to have that rest at the end of a long time of being in a non-restful position.
I have been studying the pictures of the children in PE 4 and PE 5, hoping to learn the boys names and review the girls. Even though I have seen them for three visits now it is still hard to remember the names that are very similar, especially when I have not done anything specific with them. I would like to call them all by name but it is unlikely…
We are in a fairly large plane and it is full. We have been given the only meal we will have on this leg of the journey. We were given papers to fill out to apply for our visas. The price of a visa has gone up from $25 to $37 and we will get ours at the airport when we land. So far the trip has been uneventful but I am almost afraid to say that.
FT 12:45 pm Wednesday but in PP (Phnom Penh) it is 12:45 am on Thursday. At about 10:30 pm we had a rather rough landing and disembarked. Some of this detail is going to be boring to many but I’m hoping it will give daughter Julia an idea of where to go and what to do when she travels here alone on Saturday. I have never had to do it unaccompanied, thankfully. Everyone getting off the plane does pretty much the same thing so following the crowd is a good way to go. This airport is older, has a few holes in the walls, and a lot of strange additions to it – not at all like Korean airports. We are directed into a large room where lines are forming along the left wall. There is a counter with a lot of uniformed men, some women, behind it. They take our passports and $2 for a picture, then we stand in a group at the right of the long counter. Our passports are passed along the officials and end up at the last man who tries to pronounce our names in a way that we will recognize. Good luck there. He also holds it up so the picture can be seen. We pay $30 for the visa and get our passport handed to us again.
One more checkpoint as we move through the large room. There are several stations with an agent waiting to take another look at the passport, stamp it three or four times and give it back. We are now official tourists and the next stop is right in front of us – the baggage carousel. And by this time the bags are there and circling. Everything arrived undamaged and on time. There are carts to help us move it all. As we get near the door the waiting crowd spills through and starts the greeting and hugging. A lot of the kids have come, some of the dorm students, and a number of adults from Asia’s Hope. It is a royal welcome.
We are driven to the Green Pasture Inn, which is the guest house we have always stayed in, but now it has new management and some changes. Still it is familiar and feels like “home, sweet home” as Mike says. I have my double room, since Julie will be joining me in a few days. The “air con” gets turned on and, as usual, the password for the wifi doesn’t work. We’ll have to figure that one out in the morning. So for now, goodnight.