Today we woke up at 4am to catch the early bus to get to the border of Thailand and Cambodia. Last night we didn't get to sleep till almost midnight due to packing up and chatting with Aunt Esther. We had to drop Aunt Esther and Jade at their school around 6:30am then Pastor Acosta took us to the bus stop. He helped purchase our tickets which came with free water and brought us to our bus. The ride was pretty uneventful except for the military checkpoint, which un-nerved me a little bit. Seeing the countryside was interesting, I saw several caribou's feeding in the fields. Some people still using some old school tools like a skiff which they used to gather weed by hand, there was plenty of construction work being done in the roadway. We were able to nap a little bit, though there was one guy on the bus with us who totally reminded me of a 290 registrant or pimp daddy but without the fur. The faces of country people with their work worn faces as they joined the bus ride, reminded me of a National Geographic magazine. There were also some mountains in the scenery.
The bus dropped us off at Arayaphratet which was 15 kilometers from the border. So we took a tuk-tuk (yes I used it again!) to drop us and our three bags (well technically 5 if you are counting our two backpacks) right at the market which is on the border of Thailand and Cambodia. Pastor Bastes sent a student to meet us at the market but we had some miscommunication on the phone. But we eventually found each other and he showed us where to go and it was pretty painless, just by that time we were tired and sweaty. It took me 30 minutes from crossing the border, getting my visa, having my passport stamped and finally getting on a cylo (the Cambodian version of a tuk-tuk) to Pastor Bastes' place.
It has been over 20 years since I last saw them. Their daughter, Aimee, and I went to nursery school together and four years ago my dad visited them in Phnom Phen. I don't really remember them much but seeing them again was very familiar. They only have a three story house which was nice after climbing four stories at the Acosta's house in Bangkok. LOL They served us lunch of rice, soup and beef steak. Then while waiting for 4pm to roll around we chatted with Aunt Marylou and she told us about her ministry, showed us pictures of Aimee's wedding and her new granddaughter and we shared with her our travels.
From 4pm to 9pm it was back to back students. They had a new class coming in every hour and Bing-bing and I were split up between the classes to do some conversations and interact with the students. It was pretty fun and I enjoyed watching their shocked faces when I tell them I work for the Police Department. LOL They think I'm an "officer" since trying to explain to them what a dispatcher does. So they had plenty of questions about my job but they were also interested in our marital status. I think two single sassy women traveling alone is a bit of an oddity to them. LOL Bing-bing and I enjoyed our interaction and they had taught us a few Khmer words. So for now Chum siep sua (that's goodbye in Cambodian!)