Beware the Highs of March

2 03 2012

It’s here. The day I was hoping would never come. The dreaded hot season is upon us. Several months ago, as a naive trainee, I was warned many, many times about this. “Just wait until March or April…” a current volunteer would say, leaving the sentence frighteningly wide open. Well, it’s finally happened. The Hot Season Monster is after us, and it’s not taking any prisoners. To make matters worse, a friend told us that this year has already been much hotter than last year. Great.

The weather at the time of blogging. The high for the day? Ninety-nine degrees, with a Real Feel of 103. Yuck!

Oh well, despite the heat, we have to continue on with our lives. (So unfair, right?) And our lives have been noticeably busier than they were the first few months at site. As I mentioned in the previous post, last week Tim and I had several days worth of trainings and meetings in Phnom Penh. I was really looking forward to catching up with people, especially some of those volunteers who live on the opposite side of the country. However, a nagging cold had me voice-less for much of our time there. When I did have a voice, I was too busy coughing to partake in any real conversation. I definitely didn’t have the energy to go out in the evenings. So that was disappointing.

The training itself was quite interesting though. Some of the sessions were split based on technical area (education versus health) and some were all together. Most of the health sessions involved guest speakers from local and international NGOs telling us about their projects and potential for collaboration. In the joint sessions, volunteers shared about their successful secondary projects, funding opportunities and brilliant new ideas. It was a great chance to hear about the work that everyone is doing.

While in Phnom Penh, we also got our visas and plane tickets for our April trip to Vietnam. My program manager has approved my time off, so now I’m all set to begin planning. It looks like a small group of us will be traveling together, but at least ten or fifteen other volunteers will be in Vietnam at the same time. We will most certainly share some dinners with others when we inevitably cross paths. There’s so much to look forward to in Vietnam, but I’ll save that for another post.

We got back to site on Sunday night, exhausted after a week in the capital, but things didn’t slow down. This week, I was busy working on a funding proposal for a girls’ empowerment camp that I’m planning with two other volunteers. Plus next week is International Women’s Day, so I have been spending a fair amount of time with my girls’ club coordinating a small project to celebrate. Add in education at the health center, reviewing proposals, project framework revisions, Khmer classes and teaching English– and my days filled up fast. The bittersweet news is that after next week, I anticipate that things will slow down once again.

My week is now officially over though and I’m expecting a relaxed weekend, complete with goodies from the US (thanks to Tim’s mom Barb for the package!), a movie or two, and lots of sleeping in (as long as the wat allows it). Look for more from us soon.

Katie

 

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2 responses

2 03 2012
kbergen

How much do I love the title of this blog post?

SO MUCH

2 03 2012
timkatstravels

If I’m honest with myself, I’d say at least 70 percent of the reason I chose the title was because I thought you’d like it. Glad to see I was right!

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