“My Trip Record” by Thorn Phom

This is some record of my trip to go abroad. I have never travel to other countries before. (Nov 23, 2015) I couldn’t sleep for some days. I feel nervous and I am waiting for the flight day. It will be the first time for me and I will travel alone. I really want to know what will happen to me on that day. It is few days already that I asked some friends about the flight, but I still cannot get it.

25 November 2015, the time for travelling is coming. I got up early morning and went to Phnom Penh International Airport. Only two friends took me here. When I went in to the airport for check-in, I try to observe everything without asking someone. Finally, I got it, I can understand everything. I took the flight for 45 minutes from Cambodia to Sovarnphum International Airport, Thailand. I looked at beautiful landscape through the window.

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I arrived at Sovarnphum Bangkok at 07:25 and long times waiting for the flight to Moscow Russia. I need to travel more than 20 hours to get Moscow. It was very bad for me because I could not sleep on the airplane but I met and talked to a new friend, a friendly Polis girl named Aneta. From Moscow to Tallinn, Estonia I took 2 hours and half more.

At Tallinn Airport I had a problem at passport control with other three Asian people. The security asked some questions and tried to find the contact number of host and they checked my bag and luggage. And they asked me “who is going to pick you up at the airport?” but I didn’t know. In fact Reelika, volunteers in EstYes, was waiting for me for long time at exit door. I was very happy to see her and she brought me to the hotel.

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In Tallinn Estonia, I had a big confusion, everything is different, people, the times, the weather, the temperature, the foods, currency and also plug for charger… They are mad me crazy. Thorn can live in this condition? I asked myself and thought, different? It is not true, we have a lot of thing are the same common. The importance thing is we are human. Everyone can do that why I can’t. So, I tried everything. Now, everything is better better better and better. Thanks to the world teach me everything.

November 26, 2015: I had a meeting with EstYES at 11:00. It is not far from the hotel to EstYES office, just 19 minutes walked. But I couldn’t find the office so I need to go back to the hotel for internet connection. Until 12:40 I found the office and meet Mr. Aleksandr and knowing about organization and he bring me for lunch. At 14:00 I visited Youth Center with Andrey to see dancing class.

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November 27, 2015 I spent full day visited SA Perekodo center (kindergarten) in Viljandi. It is a bit far from Tallinn and took for more than 2 hours to get there. I played with children in the center and visited house for students and surrounding the town with two volunteer girls. They are from Germany and France. We went to beautiful old castle.

November 28, 2015 Mr. Aleksendr, director of EstYes, brought me to visit The Old Town, the special place in the Tallinn. And we went Ukrainian Culture Center (UCC). An Indian volunteer girl guided me everything in the center. I tested some foods, saw how to produce paper, and listened to telling story of Ukraine with a very interesting presentation of an old man. After leaving the center we went to Language School. I met a teacher, two volunteers from Japan and Vietnam and some students. I listened to the school introducing and I did a presentation about Cambodia as a small discussion.

November 29, 2015 alone City tour and waited for long time at Tallinn bus station to travel to Lithuania. Departure from Tallinn to at 22:30 and arrived Vilnius at 07:00 in the morning (Nov 30, 2015) and then, took another bus to 07:15 to Kaunas. It took about 2 hours and half to get Kaunas. When I got off the bus in the town I tried to find DEINETA Office. I found it, I was very happy. Here, Nerijus, director of Deineta, scheduled me for full week, than we went for lunch at a restaurant in town. The food was so good and I ate a lot. After lunch I went to the flat, where the volunteers stay. I have a private warm comfortable room. I love my bedroom. At that time I slept for four hours because I was tired with travelling full night from Tallinn. There are 3 volunteers staying in the flat, Yuri from Ukraine, Ben from Italy and Narek from Armenia. They are funny. This evening I joined the Lithuanian class with them but I couldn’t get anything.

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(December 01, 2015) After breakfast I went to Deineta office and Nerijus presented me about the organization, works, procedure, partner, finance processing…etc. At 12:30 we went for lunch at Soviet restaurant. After lunch, full day had excursion in Kaunas. Nerijus brought me many attracting places, Historical building, Church, beautiful river, an interface point of Nemunas River and Neris River.

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(December 02, 2015). Full day visit VILIJAMPOLE Social Center, where working with physical disability people. In the morning I joined them cleaning around the center. We collected the tree leaves. After lunch is the sport time, I enjoyed playing with disability people. When I met all of them, I felt so sad, pity and asked why? Is it the nature? Why is the earth unfair for all people? And who can change this? Now, I don’t know how I can do, just share my love to all people in the world.

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(December 03, 2015) I got up early morning and went to meet Nerijus and he took me to the bus station. I departed to Siauliai at 10:00. Along the way to Siauliai there were the beautiful farms with lots of smoke. I arrived at Siauliai at 12:45 and went to BIBLIOTEKA Library. People in the library are kind and friendly and I was very happy to meet them. Before lunch, we had a cup of tea. I wore an animal clown, it was a wolf. We did for attracting announce about the library event on Saturday. It was very fun. In the evening I joined library decoration and display some pictures. I stayed overnight day with Ivan, a Spanish volunteer.

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(December 04, 2015) I left the volunteer flat at 07:30 and went to the train station. I needed to go to see the volunteers meeting in a library in Klaipeda. I went there by train and took 1 hour and half. I spend for full day in Klaipeda and went back to Kaunas in the evening.

(December 05-06, 2015) It is my holiday. In the morning I just stayed at home and washed some clothes. Ben, Yuri and I went to Maxima Super market for lunch. After lunch we went shopping and bought some food for weekend party. At the evening we prepared some food, had some wine and talking until bedtime.

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(December 07, 2015) Funding opportunities and finance understanding at Deineta office.

I feel that during my job shadowing I managed to present myself and present my culture to many people. I also found new friends and received a lot of useful information (project management, financial things, way of life of local people, different organization who work with volunteers and communities). This experience will be very useful for me personally and for my community in Chambok. I am planning to have meetings at home with the local people and pass to them some of the things I experienced and learned in Europe. I think with my organization KYSD we will be better prepared to run volunteering projects together with partners from Europe.

Thorn Phom, KYSD, Cambodia

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