I expected my last few weeks as a Peace Corps Volunteer to be full of free time since school’s out and my projects are wrapped up. Turns out, transitioning to a new city and job is time consuming.
Here’s a black-and-white rundown of what I’ve been doing.
Six days a week I teach a two-hour English media class at one of the Ponheary Ly Foundation schools. The school is a 40-minute bike ride from my house. I’ve been giving a lot of quizzes and creative writing assignments, so grading and crafting assignments takes up a couple hours outside class everyday. This is my first real task with Ponheary Ly Foundation, so I’m obsessing about making it as perfect as possible.
I’ve also been spending time with as many Foundation staff members as possible by going with them on day-trips to our school sites. Plus, the org has partners in town from New York who are only here five weeks. So, I’ve been spending time with them too as we try to get new programs going. Next month, our partners from Canada will be here for ten days, so I’ll be doing lots of meeting and greeting then as well. But, my first official day of work isn’t until September 3.
Part of this transition period is also full of chores like moving all my stuff from my host family’s home in Puok to my new apartment in Siem Reap on the back of my bike. I can’t pack much on my bike and it’s an hour ride, so I only take a small load each time. I’ll be in my new place permanently starting August 26. My new mailing address is located in the About section of this blog.
Also, ending my contract with Peace Corps means I’ll be losing my U.S. government health insurance, my work visa, and my local Cambodian bank account. And, I’ll need to cast my vote for Obama from here. So, I’ve been trying to nail down all those important things.
Finally, I’ve been saying goodbye to Peace Corps friends who all leave Cambodia for good next week.
On an exciting note, I’m preparing for a visit from my friend Brad from Lexington, Kentucky who arrives August 6th—a last hurrah before I officially begin my new job. Brad is in the process of trying to live in Siem Reap for a year (starting next June) to research pollution in the Tonle Sap Lake for his PhD Chemistry program. So, he’ll have some networking to do during his two-week visit. I’m trying to get some of that lined up for him.