Across the border

Trip Start May 03, 2010
Trip End May 28, 2010

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Flag of Cambodia  , Takêv,
Saturday, May 8, 2010

Woke up and took a very quick tour to a floating fish farm and a Cham village (an all Muslim community on an island in the middle of the Mekong). I Bought Jody a Mother's Day gift that I can’t give her until the end of the month when I get home (I’d mention what it is but she may be reading this).

After the quick tour it was off to the Tinh Bien/ Phnom Da border to make my way into Cambodia on a one lane road with two lanes of traffic.  It took just over an hour of dodging trucks and motos to get to the border crossing and after a short walk I was in Cambodia.  I caught another moto and had the driver give me a ride between the Vietnam and Cambodian check points.  I ended up paying the guy $2 to take me between the two and then on to a taxi so I could get a ride to Takeo.  It was quiet the ride with a sea bag on my back and my day pack wedged on the front of the scooter.  Getting transportation at the border crossing was biggest concern of traveling across Vietnam into Cambodia but it was a breeze.

Theres a stark difference between Vietnam and Cambodia and I was amazed at how quickly everything changed.  I was expecting horrible roads (Vietnams were marginal) but was shocked to find the road paved and two lanes wide.  It was also absent of motos – which is almost eerie after dodging them for the past few days.  The ride was really uneventful, passed some beautiful pagodas and a few cows but there was nothing special.

After about an hour I made it into Takeo, It took a bit to find the orphanage I’m staying at and the language barrier between my driver and I made it a bit more of a challenge.  I found it (eventually) and walked through the gates of the volunteer center (the children stay at a place down the road).  I was warmly welcomed by everyone that was there and given a brief overview of how things work and then checked into my room to drop off all of my stuff.  I met up with everyone else at the orphanage.

Walking through the gates at New Futures is beautiful, not because of the buildings, but because of the children.  They all came up to me and introduced themselves in perfect English.  I was only there 15 minutes before we were mixing concrete to build new stoves for the kitchen.  I say stoves but not in the American sense of a stove, there are three spots to build a fire and put a pot over the top of each.

The kids are great.  They’re incredibly friendly and full of life.
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