So we left Cambodia.
In these four years I have often thought about an article I red while I was in the preparation course with DED in Berlin in the summer of 2001. The article was written by an Italian doctor who had worked in Battambang at the hospital of Emergency, an Italian NGO. He wrote about his feeling while sitting at the departure hall of Phnom Penh airport: relief. Relief after the hard work in the hospital and poverty. Yesterday, I was sitting in the departure hall of the same airport and felt that a new page was going to start. I also thought about the people and things we have left behind. So no relief after all, but the feeling that while it is good to start a new page now, the previous one is not fully turned yet and maybe will never turn completely. I believe that we will always feel a bond with Cambodia, the country that has hosted us for four years and where I have learned so much about development and the difficulties to overcome poverty with change. We also left people behind, Cambodian friends with whom we have shared many moments in our work and in our daily life. People who have taken care with love and affection of Olga and with whom our life would have been more difficult.
Now we are in Bangkok. One hour flight, a world a part. We are staying near Siem Square. It is really Christmas here, all the malls that have grown along Rama 1 show that the economic crisis is behind and thata new page has started also for this country or at least a part of it. But again it is interesting to note that these malls and shops and centre resmeble eachother. The Siem Centre whcih is 5 minutes walk from here , has many shops that can be found in the huge Paradom centre, which again are similar to the malls I have seen in Shanghai and Kuala Lumpur this year. It seems that diversity is slowly dissapearing. But this si the surface, in reality these places are populated by people from many counitries: tourists, locals, immigrants, temporary workers, who make thes places really international with their languages.
One hour flight and a world a part from Kampong Thom, Cambodia; our home for four years.