Monday, June 11, 2012

Packed and fairly ready to go

Note: I thought this post published about 3-4 days ago, guess not! I'm already in Cambodia, but I figured I'd put it up anyway!

Butterfly on rooftop farm in Queens

Atlantic City

Last American meal, at home

I jumbled my things together this morning for my flight to Cambodia that takes off from JFK tonight at seven PM.  Surprisingly, getting ready for this trip didn’t phase me the same way other trips--a long weekend in Seattle or four days in Jamaica-- did. Two days ago, I beat myself up a bit for leaving some tasks to the last minute: installing huge software files for photo editing, purchasing traveler’s insurance, booking a hotel. I’m confident these minor details, including learning key Khmer phrases, will fall into place.

Before embarking on my three-month journey to Cambodia, I took solace in some pockets of free time in New York City and California. I avoided the subway and opted for long walks and logged some sweaty miles on my bike. Spontaneously ventured to Atlantic City for twenty-four hours. Ate at some favorite restaurants and tried some new ones. Got a behind-the-scenes tour of a commercial rooftop farm in Brooklyn by the farmer herself. Took a quick summer course in food security and lots of yoga. Saw friends. Got a sunburn and peeled.  Turned twenty-five and ate the celebratory gluten-free carrot cake for breakfast, lunch and dinner for a week after.

While at bay now, I’m confident anxiety and uncertainty will find me somewhere-if not on the 30 hour journey to Phnom Penh, maybe while attempting to find a home, learning to edit and produce video, or via my notoriously sensitive stomach. Admittedly, I’ll be learning while doing for most of my time working with Naga Biofuels to document their work getting clean biodiesel to nonprofits, hotels, and dive shops throughout Cambodia. They’ve graciously welcomed me into their venture, and through my fumbling, I’m hoping to help them show their work to the world.

Some critical information:

Working for Naga Biofuels in Siem Reap, Cambodia

No iPhone! Instead, I’ll be using Skype: alisa.ahmadian

Not sure where I’ll be living yet, but I know I’ll be staying at the lovely Golden Banana until I figure it out.