The border crossing was not as complicated as it had been made out to be, however, if I was on my own, I’d have made a right hash out of it. The benefit of going on an organised tour was that we hired a cart-driver who was going to take all of our main luggage, so we didn’t have to drag it around. Also, they knew the shortcuts. We just walked between these two non-descript stalls in this “Cambodian Friendship Market” and walked maybe 200metres through a few begging kids and an arm-less man to a pretty Official-Looking building. Had our passports stamped, Thai departure cards were processed and we went on our way. There was another bus waiting for us on the other side and our luggage was transferred without much fuss, on to the bus headed for Siem Reap.
Tonight, we went to New Hope School to meet some kids who have benefited from sponsorship from G Adventures. The school runs three times a day, with a total of ~800 students. These kids don’t pay for their education; their parents just cannot afford it. Most of the kids would have had to work to help support the family, but New Hope helps these families. They provide rice and sometimes oil and they teach the kids that education is invaluable. They also have a training restaurant. Older kids do everything, from taking orders to cocktail making, from washing dishes to cooking and serving the meals and the complimentary nuts, bugs and veggie crisps.New Hope also has a Health Clinic & Outreach Centre, which serves to provide minor injury treatment, vaccinations and the such-like. It’s a really great place, and I might head back there to volunteer before I start my official job-hunt in Siem Reap. And if you ever visit, their New Hope Cocktail was pretty special. I skipped over the one that had egg yolk in it, but the one I had was really quite good.