As I passed the year mark of me being a Peace Corps Volunteer in Cambodia, and said goodbye to summer and welcomed the new volunteers, I had the feeling of a high school senior who looks upon their last year of high school in anxiety and excitement. What will I be able to accomplish this year? And when the end comes will I know what to do next?
I was luckily enough to have my father and brother visit for nearly the entire month of August. It gave me the feeling of home without setting foot back on American soil.
And it gave me a little bit of an idea of what my family and friends think of my service in Cambodia. Sometimes it feels as if I am trying to run through water; exerting alot of effort but getting nowhere. It was nice for my family to be here because they showed me that even if I don't have something tangible to show after my year here, I do have many close relationships with local people that are as, if not more, important as anything else.
It was also nice to have my family here because I got to travel around Cambodia and see the tourist spots - Angkor Wat, Phnom Sampeau and Wat Banan in Battambang, and others - that I haven't been able to see yet due to lack of funds and/or time. Angkor Wat was just as magnificent as people make it out to be - albeit very, very hot. I still can recall the eerie feeling of being at the Bayon Temple and having over 200 giant faces staring at me; both awesome and creepy. The best part of the whole trip was when my father and brother came to my site. They were given the royal treatment to say the least. And everyone wanted to take a picture with my 6 foot, blond-haired, blue-eyed brother. Even the district governor went out of his way to welcome them to Romeas Hek. After a day of meetings in the provincial town he made sure to drive to my house at 10pm and have a nightcap with my father, brother, and I after which invite us to breakfast the following morning. I really appreciated the overall welcome that my community showed my family and I felt very lucky to have been placed in such a lovely place with such friendly people :)
Here are some pictures from the family adventures in SE Asia....