I’m now back in Cambodia for a busy couple of weeks splitting my time between Writing Through and Anjali House. I can tell you that it’s a much longer trip to SE Asia from New York than it is from London. The jet lag was pretty intense, but after five days I seem to be coming out of the fog. It’s a good thing I can still talk passionately about what we do at Writing Through even in my sleep!
This first week is being spent meeting with many of our Partners setting up workshops for next year. It’s incredibly encouraging to hear that every Partner wants to repeat the program, and the word continues to spread to other NGO’s eager to hold workshops. I had been thinking that we’ve been a registered 501c3 charity for two years now, but my friend at our Partner, Caring for Cambodia, reminded me that, no, actually, it’s just been one year since we’ve been official. So many students have already been reached that it’s hard to believe it’s been such a short amount of time.
I’ve also spent a few hours most days at Anjali House, where these workshops first started and where I now sit on the Board. Checking in there is like a homecoming. Kids I’ve known for years greet me with hugs and seek me out for some heart-to-heart chats. While it’s hard to believe that so little time has passed with Writing Through, it’s just as hard to believe that so much time has passed with Anjali House. I’ve been involved there for nearly seven years, and some of these kids I’ve seen grow from middle schoolers to High School graduates.
Next week I head up to a small town in northwestern Cambodia where I’ll run a workshop for another one of our Partners, Enfants du Mekong. This will be the third centre of theirs that I will be visiting and the one which has most recently undergone a big renovation. I hear it’s an amazing facility and I can’t wait to see it and meet the students.
So, it’s a very busy time with lots crammed into a couple of weeks. After Samrong, I head off to Singapore to see our dedicated network of Writing Through volunteers, do some more training of Facilitators, make some plans for 2017, and hold a fundraiser. But that’s for another blog post.
For now, I’m off to have dinner with a friend in a new gallery space she’s recently opened. There’s always something new happening in Siem Reap, including the creation of an apartment in the guest house where I have always stayed, Horizons. Now I really do have a home away from home, or maybe a new second home. No matter what I call it, I’m happy to be here.