2009年09月22日

My impressions of Cambodia, Feb. 2009(2009年3月号)

After visiting Phnom Penh just last year, I didn’t expect things to have changed much. But traveling from the airport into the city I noticed lots of new, fancy buildings in the process of construction or newly built. It seems progress is being made and the country is developing, but the rest of my visit reminded me how far things still have to go. Meeting with the organizers of the Youth Star volunteer program, and hearing about conditions in the countryside, reminded me that judging a developing country by its cities is a dangerous thing to do. Our meeting with the director of ACE also reminded me that the progress I had noticed was very new and very fragile growth. It’s still too early to tell what effects the downturn in the world economy will have on Cambodia, but it definitely will have an impact.

My other strong impression was a renewed and deepened sense of how warm, friendly, and sincere the people in Cambodia are. Meeting Sokhom again and getting to know her family was a wonderful opportunity for us. Even the taxi and tuk-tuk drivers we encountered seemed honest and no one tried to take advantage of us. The last several times I visited neighboring Thailand I have had awful experiences with taxis so I was very impressed this hasn’t become the case in Cambodia. I hope the country can develop without loosing the charm that distinguishes it from neighboring countries.
posted by e-dream-s at 23:17| Comment(0) | Brian Nuspliger