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Archive for August, 2010

Summer Update

August 22, 2010 1 comment
Hey All,
 
Long time no see huh? Well, I have been keeping busy since I sent you something but hopefully this all will make up for it. And if that doesn’t work, I just posted some fresh pictures of my travels in vietnam onto facebook, so go ahead and take a look at those and I will explain that all later on here.
 
First things first. Since my last post, I have visited Siem Reap province, worked with the brand new volunteers who arrived almost a month ago now, hosted some of them as they visited my village, and took a vacation to Vietnam for two weeks. All of that has added up to keeping busy and the majority of my summer flying by. In a few weeks, my mom will also be visiting for a bit, so in reality, I haven’t had much trouble with finding things to do this summer. Anyway, my visit up to Siem Reap was a productive one (its where Angkor Wat is located) and I worked for a fancy school up there. It was a real trip because they teach the kids that go there both Cambodian standards and U.S. standards, and the whole thing is funded by the guy who owns the Hyatt chain of hotels. It is impressive to say the least. After that, I got a chance to be one of the volunteers selected to be involved with the training of the new group of peace corps members to enter the country. I was excited because I remember how those first volunteers impacted my service, and knew that there would be a lot of questions being asked of me and my experience. Spent a week doing that and had a blast, although it was more work than I expected and sort of a whirlwind as well.
 
After that, I went back to my village for a bit and relaxed until it was time to go back to Phnom Penh so I could say goodbye to my ex-girlfriend Eddie. She was getting ready to go back to the States as she had already finished her two year committment in Cambodia. Saying adios was difficult for the both of us, but I was glad I got the chance to go and be with her some. A few days later, a few of the new peace corps trainees got an opportunity to come visit me in my village, where I showed them around and overall we had a good time, capped out with a short visit south to go see Kampot town.
 
Quickly after that visit, I went back to Phnom Penh again to get ready to visit Vietnam, so I had to get my visa all set up since I would be traveling by bus. The plan we fulfilled was to go to Ho Chi Minh City and catch an overnight bus up the coast to Nha Trang, a beach up about 10 hours away from there. My buddy Philip joined me on the trip, and we were able to catch some sleep on that bus and when we awoke it was perfect cause the sun was rising over the beach. Spent a few days there, went on a snorkeling trip, and then proceeded to the mountain town of Dalat. Getting there it was beautiful, zig-zagging through the mountains, but the town itself was a bit underwhelming. We spent really only one night there before taking off for our next destination, Mui Ne, another beach town. Mui Ne is considerably smaller than Nha Trang but still had its niceties. We ate some awesome seafood there three nights in a row. Was really good to unwind and slow down on the beach for the time we were there. Next we traveled further back south to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and I spent a day walking around the city, going to some historical sites like the War Remnants Museum and the Reunification Palace. Both were a little upsetting in their own ways, but it was important to go see them to me.
 
Now, I am heading back to Phnom Penh and then back to my village for a few weeks until my mom comes to visit. I am really excited for her to come by and see how I live and also so I can see her obviously. After being here over a year, I still miss everyone a lot and I hope everyone is well. Take care people, hope to talk to you soon.
 
– Ryan
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