It is hard to believe that I have only been here for a week and, at the same time, it is hard to believe that it has been only just a week. Similarly, I have so much to say and nothing at all. I am really excited about my trip out to the province of Battambong. For one thing, I am excited to see what the provinces looks like. On another hand, I think it will give me a clear idea or picture of what my life will look like for the next 6 months.
As update on job progress. The center is Svay Rieng is scheduled to open the 19th of February. This leaves me several weeks to visit local NGOs and shelter in Battambong (this week), Phnom Penh, and hopefully Poipet. It also is a time for me to help give my input on a basic social work manual being created for shelters. Its an interesting position to be in. On the one hand, this is exactly what I have been studying and so I hope that my contribution can be worthwhile. On the other hand, I have only been here a week, and up until later today, never in the field. Therefore, I really have very little cultural context. Regardless, its a good activity and is trying to address some very important issues when working with, or sheltering, child victims of human trafficking.
I am leaving you will a picture of the sun setting over Phnom Penh. It was taken this weekend when I went on a boat trip with a GWB alumna and her friends. It was a beautiful way to see the city; however, it made the city and its people seem so far away. It leads to the question that I have asked myself in countless countries: how can such extreme poverty and such extreme wealth co-exist side by side?