Met Sak at 7am for a final coffee at his streetside haunt before going back to the hotel to pack. I've left practically all my clothes (after 6 weeks of being covered in dust and scrubbed clean every week, my t-shirts and trousers were looking a bit sorry for themselves) and filled the space in my bag with Cambodian books & magazines!
Prior to lunch, Sak & I headed off to visit a local organisation called Ptea Teuk Dong which is a small non-profit, non-religious, and politically neutral Cambodian NGO which works to improve the lives of street families in Battambang Province. The goal is to improve the quality of life and restore the dignity of street families and female victims of sexual abuse/rape and assist them in reintegrating them into the community. Women here are training in diverse skills such as making rattan mats, baskets, furniture, and food. They also attend classes in literacy, small business skills, human rights, agriculture, health, and animal raising.
Sak & Theara wanted to accompany me on the journey to Phnom Penh Airport and I was so pleased to have their company. We had a car booked for 12noon and after having lunch I said an even more emotional goodbye than the one last week. I'm afraid that this time the tears did not wait until I was safely in the car. I am going to miss them all very much. Sak's mother gave me a small posy of flowers tied with a pink ribbon and Theara gave me a little box full of beautiful hair accessories.
The journey to Phnom Penh Airport took 4.5 hours, with a half hour stop in Kompong Chhnang for a drink. Unfortunately when we arrived at the airport the armed security would only let me into the checking-in hall and refused to let Sak & Theara come too. So I had to say my goodbyes long before I had hoped and I then had to sit (due to the plane being 1 hour 45 mins delayed) in the departure lounge for 2.5 hours feeling very sorry for myself!
I finally arrived in Singapore with only 20 minutes spare to catch my connecting flight to London. I had to run from Terminal 1 to Terminal 3 and by the time I reached the gate, I was sopping wet. We left Singapore at 23.40 and it's probably the first time I have ever slept properly on an aeroplane.
Lea Hiy for the current time from Kampuchea!