Given the excitement of my first few weeks back in Cambodia, time with visitors and unplanned accidents, I was ready for some R&R in Kampot, oh wait I was meant to be working. Still, I had a place to unpack my bag, make new friends, reconnect with the old and settle myself, at least for the time being. My settling was taking place at Banteay Srey Women's Spa where I'd be the new resident Yoga/English teacher, sound perfect? You're right.
Upon settling myself in Kampot I had mixed feelings about my new placement, sure I had friends, a place to unpack my bag and a room to call my own, but I wasn't sure if I really wanted to stay. I toyed with the idea of breaking my contract and leaving early but decided that it was just my first-week jitters and that I should really try to stick it out. As I arrived the previous volunteer was saying her goodbyes and I could see tears forming in her eyes, I gave the situation a slight eye roll and thought that won't be me. The whole time my focus was on the yoga classes I'd be teaching while I gave little thought to the English lessons that would soon fill my days. The English lessons which gave me countless hours of bonding time with the girls, time I would learn to cherish.
After jetting about Asia for another three and a half months it was finally time for me to settle myself in the little town of Kampot and transition back to being a teacher. This time the role was a little different, although I would be teaching some English lessons the main hat (err leggings?) I was to wear was that of Yoga Teacher. Obviously, I knew what I was signing up for, but when it came down to it, the day before my first class, I was petrified. Aside from the three people I taught at my training last April, a few friends and random travelers in hostel common rooms, I hadn't actually taught a class yet. Lucky for me though this women's spa in a chilled-out town in Cambodia is the perfect place for a teacher to dip her toes in the water.
After my adventures in and around Siem Reap I only had a few more days left on my visa to explore Cambodia. I had been planning to enter Thailand via the Aranyprathet/Poipet border, so a stop in Battambang seemed natural. Aside from my original plan I encountered many travelers along the way who had nothing but good things to say about the city, so I made sure not to miss it. Upon my arrival, I found the city to be quaint but without the charm of Kampot. I made a last minute booking at Chhaya hotel, mostly just because they would pick me up from the bus station. My tuk-tuk driver started immediately with his sales as he whipped out his book of tours he operates, but I must say he did so with some tact, I was not in the least bit annoyed. I wasn't going to join any but when he mentioned he was taking a Swiss man to the bat cave that night I decided to join.
There are countless articles online promoting, bashing, critiquing and otherwise inspecting all that Facebook has to offer, it's often a topic of conversation between both young and old. The opinions critiquing the good and bad of Facebook could fuel the fire for many heated debates and arguments; there are those that absolutely despise the site and refuse to ever sign up, but then there are the so-called 'Facebook addicts'. I myself fall somewhere in the middle of the road, seeing valid arguments from each side. Sure, it can suck up a majority of your time while providing little in return, other than pangs of jealousy or resentment at your friends pictures. But if you use it correctly, Facebook can also provide you with some great information, connections, and if you're lucky some awesome experiences.
Only recently has this country shown up on the SE Asia tourist route. With a dark, harrowing past it's amazing to see the smiles spread across the locals faces. I've met travelers with mixed impressions, but if you're lucky enough to connect with a few locals I'm confident you'll fall in love.