two flights and 18 hours later I have arrived in Phnom Pehn, Cambodia.
Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia, is a feast for the senses with an abundance of cultural sites and smiling faces. After being here for a mere 36 hours I have only scratched the surface of understanding what life is like here. The city is a land of stark contrasts. Wat Phnom, built in the 14th century, stands about 500 meters from a brand new 30 story high rise under construction. Bicycle taxis and small motorcycles overloaded with people and goods traveling the busy streets are passed by the odd polished Range Rover. However, the outliers of modernity are just that and relatively rare; in a country that is fairly new to capitalism, the streets are filled with examples of people who are being left behind in that development.
It goes without saying that modernization is a hard thing to define, let alone, do correctly. Regardless, I am confident that at a grassroots level, there is a lot that can be done, particularly in the development of microfinance programs that exist in and about the city.
I am feeling pleasantly overwhelmed, there is so much to see and do. What can I influence? Where can I help? There are so many questions to be answered. However, the first hurdle has been crossed; I am here. As my trip progresses I will share more of the experience and welcome your comments.