“Adventure is a path. Real adventure – self-determined, self-motivated, often risky – forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world. The world the way it is, not the way you imagine it. Your body will collide with the earth and you will bear witness. In this way you will be compelled to grapple with the limitless kindness and bottomless cruelty of humankind – and perhaps realize that you yourself are capable of both. This will change you. Nothing will ever again be black-and-white.” –Mark Jenkins

Saturday, 19 January 2013

time to shop

I have suddenly realised just how much I have to do before we go and thought I'd start with a little online gift shopping. So after consulting the "cultural considerations guide" from the Plan charity, I settled on some small functional gifts for the adults and some more enjoyable, but still educational, gifts for the children. I started with 10 miniature zip-up sewing kits for the older girls, 3 tea towels that have the British isles and a union jack flag on, then 10 miniature first aid kits; apparently bandages and plasters are also in very short supply over there too, so if anyone fancies donating any it would be appreciated. For the children I bought 20 inflatable globes which can be used as playtime balls as well as teaching aids. It's something we desperately wished we had taken to the school in Uganda as they would have been so useful. Not sure yet what would be a good gift for the men of the village, but I'm sure something will come to me. My personal gift for Arafin arrived this week too - over the past few weeks I have been scanning in all the drawings and letters that Arafin has sent me over the years along with all the photos of him and his family. I then found various photos of me and my family, and some pictures to help explain our lives here (our campervan, our cat etc.) and using the online Blurb Bookify tool I turned them into a small paperback book for Arafin to keep. I know he can't read English, so I kept the explanations basic in the hope that his Plan community worker will be able to translate for him (my Khmer is non-existent too!).

I'm getting quite excited now to meet him and the other members of his community.
We also had some news from Eric the photographer who is asking if we would be happy sharing our trip with another amateur photographer from America. Apparently this guy attended one of Eric's courses last May and now wants to go again, which I guess is a good indicator of the venue and Eric's skill as a tutor. After some discussion, Mum and I decided it wouldn't change the trip too much and may even mean we hire a minivan instead of a car which would be easier, as well as making the tour slightly cheaper of course. Eric will also be sending us a kit list next week, but I am hoping my new lens will be sufficient. The question is whether or not I need to get new polarising filters, I haven't yet checked the diameter of my new lens to see if my old filter fit.

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