The time has come, friends. Panic post #1.
Some of you know my intimately, some of you do not. Either way, you have probably picked up on the fact that I can be an anxious, stressed control freak at times. Other times, I have cookies in my mouth and the world is good. So, there may be several posts where I don’t know what’s happening and I need to release my panic and anxiety onto something else other than myself. That’s where you lovely people come in. Surprise! You’re all my (extremely underpaid) psychologists now! HAHAHAHA!
Anyway, back to your unhealthy voyeuristic desire to know about my life. I’m leaving in a couple days and the panic has set in. Even though my to-do list is nearly done, I’ve practiced how I’m going to pack up all my stuff and I’ve even decided what I’ll wear on my first day in Cambodia, I still feel like there isn’t enough time to get it all done. Mostly, I think this feeling comes from the fact that there’s no way I can possibly see everyone I know to say “I’m glad you’re in my life! Have a good time while I’m gone!” but, trying to do that will just be stressful and silly. Another source is not having the phone situation figured out. Apparently, nobody in this city carries international SIM cards so, I guess I’ll have to buy one at the airport or just get one in Cambodia.
If I’m completely honest, I just stress about things to feel stressed because stress, in some weird way, stressed feels calm to me. Did I mention I’m insane [see picture below for proof]?
Good look, right?!
Onto more important things! I should explain that IVHQ (the volunteer “middleman” organization I went through to find work in Cambodia, you may remember) nor the Cambodian Volunteer Foundation (CVF) have told me very much about what city/area I’ll be living in, which NGOs I’ll be working for, whether I’d be living in a house with other volunteers or with a Cambodian family. Pretty much all I knew up until yesterday was to bring sunscreen, that I needed to fly into Phnom Penh and somebody will meet me at the airport when I land to take me to my accommodation.
Well, I have one more, albeit small, piece of the puzzle! I received and e-mail from the CVF with information regarding rules while volunteering and rules for volunteer houses, most of which involve not having sex or doing drugs. Even groggy morning Meggo could put two and two together and realize that this means that I will be staying in a volunteer house while in Cambodia. I did some digging on the IVHQ website and found out that being placed in a volunteer house means that I will be living in either Phnom Penh or Siem Reap, the major urban centres.
I’d prefer to live in Phnom Penh for a few reasons. The first is I’ll be close to the action, there will be lots to do and, if I need something, there shouldn’t be an issue finding it. Second, while I’m sure Siem Reap is all kinds of lovely, I’ve heard that it essentially exists for tourists and I’d like to experience life outside of the tourist scene, since I’ll be doing a lot of that when I leave Cambodia at the end of January. Third, it’s a four and a half hour drive from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap and I’m definitely not going to be up for a really long car ride after already travelling for over 24 hours.
Now, after a stressful day of nothing getting done and a busy day again tomorrow, I’m ready to pack some stuff, watch an episode of “Orange is the New Black” and drink tea because, even though I really want coffee (I drink coffee like chain smokers smoke cigarettes), I know that herbal tea is the better option.
I received an email this morning with more news about my placement and living accommodations! As I hoped, I’ll be in Cambodia’s capital of Phnom Penh working with an NGO called the Khmer Youth Association (http://www.kya-cambodia.org/site/). After checking out their website, it seems like exactly the type of thing I’d love to do.
I’m still a little unsure as to the accommodation situation because I received the volunteer house rules yesterday and then got word that I’m staying with “other volunteers”, one of whom is probably this Stephanie girl that the email was also addressed to, in Mr. L’s house, which is near the volunteer house.
It feels good to know where I’m going to be for my own sanity and so I have some answers for the immigration officers when I land. Now, I’m off to do last minute stuff even though I really, really just want to have a nap. And drink coffee. So much coffee.