The journey starts. Got to the airport at around 8:30 AM and checked into China Southern Airlines. After taking a 16 1/2 non stop flight and living through three meals, cat naps and lots of movies and bathroom stops, I finally arrived in Guangzhou China. The city sits in a valley surrounded by green mountains. The first thing I noticed was the extreme air pollution that looked like a huge fog that was engulfing the city. There were quite a few office buildings and lots of government looking housing. The time difference was twelve hours ahead of NY. I wandered through this large and commercial airport looking for my gate and finally found it. My favorite, cold brew at Starbucks, was around the corner and tanked up for the next leg of my trip. Could not use my cellphone app at this Starbucks and no US money was accepted. Now I know that I am Really in a foreign country. The next leg took me to Siem Reap Cambodia. About a three hour trip. Immediately fell asleep and was woken up once by the stewardess who asked me if I wanted dinner? I could not bear eating more airplane food and declined. It was then back to sleep. Arrived in Siem Reap and was greeted by my friends and some of the scholarship students who all remembered me from my last trip. This is my eighth trip to visit and experience this amazing country and its people. It was so nice to be greeted by everyone and realized how much I had missed them. I must say that the first thing that greeted me in Cambodia was a wave of “Africa Hot” heat. It was around 7 PM and still that hot. Lets talk a little bit about hot and cold. Almost everyone knows that I will be going to Mongolia from Cambodia. Will be in Western Mongolia and the Gobi for most of my two weeks. Was told by Andy Williams at Muench Workshops, that the weather in Mongolia is very cold and it it will drop down to the 20’s and teens during the evening and not much warmer during the day. He insisted that I bring a winter coat, long johns, snow pants, warm hiking boots, gloves, hats and dress in layers. We will be camping out in Ger Tents for most of the time. No five star hotels here. So how do you pack? I asked Andy to come to my house and pack for me be he declined and said that he has limits. I mostly packed for Mongolia and have very few clothes for Cambodia. I will get laundry done and if necessary, but some items in Cambodia. Could not take two suitcases since I am going on lots of different airlines and do not know their rules. We then hat dinner in the hotel. Great Cambodian dinner with lots of little dishes to choose from. It was so nice talking with Kimsru, Manin and Konnetha. I could have talked all night. One of my favorite activities as most of you know. It is now time to take a nice cool shower and shave and rest. Am excited being in Cambodia and so looking forward spending the next five days talking to everyone and going with them places.
I am being picked up at 9AM and and looking forward towards the next five das of activities with the staff and students of Pepy Empowering Youth.