Sunday, July 08, 2007

Highlights from Phnom Penh

Hi everyone! Kristin has been SO busy working that I haven't had time to update you on my trip until now.

Kristin and her friend Elaine from the Stanley Foundation arrived in Phnom Penh on July 5th. Elaine helps organize conferences for the foundation. She is very nice.

Phnom Penh is the capital of Cambodia. It is a very busy city. The streets were full of motorbikes, mopeds, and cars of all kinds during our ride from the airport to the hotel.

Just after we got to the Raffles Hotel, Kristin and Elaine met a woman named Debbie from the Asia Foundation. Debbie is very nice. Debbie was there to help Kristin with something called a "press conference." A "press conference" is an event where lots of journalists sit in the same room to get and update on important news. I had no idea! The press conference Kristin and Debbie worked on included a number of journalists based in Cambodia. People who organized the conference that Kristin attended talked to the journalists from a table at one end of a big room at the hotel.

I really didn't understand what the people at the press conference were talking about. Kristin told me they were talking about the politics in Cambodia. She also promised that she wouldn't give me a test afterwards. Whew!

The people at the table spoke in English. But then the person standing in the photo above told the reporters what the people at the table were saying in a language I didn't recognize. Kristin told me he was speaking Khmer, the local language. Very interesting!

I'm still not sure I completely understand what the "press conference" is all about, but I did notice that many of the journalists were taking notes.

Kristin was so busy working on this "press conference" that she didn't really have time to show me around Phnom Penh. She was worried I was going to be bored, but I told her not to worry. She bought me lots of books about Cambodia to read (thanks Kristin!).

Plus, some of the people attending the conference brought their children to Cambodia. So Kristin let me go with them to the cool hotel swimming pool.

Did I mention that it is REALLY HOT in Cambodia. It is so hot...and full of that humidity stuff...that Kristin's camera (and glasses) kept fogging up when she first walked outside from the air conditioned hotel lobby.

Kristin did take me for a walk around the hotel so I could see a small part of Phnom Penh. Can you see how busy the traffic is?

Kristin told me she was sorry we didn't have more time in Phnom Penh, because she says there are many interesting things to see and do in Phnom Penh. I told her not to worry. I like Cambodia and I am going to add it to my list of places I want to visit again.

That's all for now...