Thoughts and Bike’s Zoom By by Ashley Vidal

There’s just too many thoughts zooming through my head seemingly in tandem to the rhythm of the motorcycles and buses speeding past the 7 Candles Guest House’s balcony where I currently sit. There’s just so much magic to explore and it’s pleasantly daunting that this trip is just beginning.

I have to say that I truly loved today. It started with Christina and I getting on bikes and adventuring the city. It instantly brought me back home, it grounded me, because at home I bike everywhere so I was able to be back in that space. It was exhilarating. It was absolute cacophony on the streets motorcycles, bikes, cars all whizzing by and yet there was just so much harmony. The roads were predominately dominated by bikes and mopeds. The most striking thing to me was for the first time the cars were the ones in the way, inconveniencing the traffic. There was just this natural flow to all the bikes because miraculously we all were able to fit through but cars would take up the whole lane and break all those inner-workings up. I loved it Christina and I just traveled around journeying in and out of streets. The scenery constantly changing new store fronts, new houses but what was beautifully constant- the people. Every where we traveled people were smiling, pleasant to one another and enjoying each others presence, and allowing one another to pass through. These observations make one feel at home in the midst of all thats happening just by the way people pass you by. I truly enjoyed my time on the bike and I only know that  my time here will continue to pleasantly surprise me.

I truly look forward to visiting all the schools tomorrow for that will be one of the moments, that like the bike ride, will ground me. It is still hard for me to conceptualize that I am in Cambodia and that I am synthesizing what it is like to be here not just about its history and culture from a far away place. Seeing the schools tomorrow will help me to understand that the program I’ve spent so much time  preparing for has truly begun. I will say though its a mind altering experience to be back in seminar with Jas discussing the Politics of Development in Cambodia, to be in class on the roof of the 7 candles guest house with the clear blue Cambodian sky as the back drop rather than the our classrooms at Lang. Its all still so surreal and I am enjoying every minute of discovery.


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