So this is the blog that Ive told everyone about, that I'll be updating as much as I possibly can. Notice how i havent said every day! Thats mainly because im not entirely sure what the internet coverage is going to be like in Lao homestays ... but also to give me a break from you people!
So heres the rundown of everything before I leave... So writing this now on Thursday arvo which means I have basically 15 hours before we go and have done very little prep so figure ill answer all of your questions here in one place, that I like to call the FAQ's:
NB: In short we basically havent really planned for this. Sorta like holding a snowman hostage with a hairdryer, we had no idea what we were getting ourselves in for when we decided to take on this mission at the end of last year. What started off as a solid, 2 month trip to Cambodia sorta snowballed into this massive, 10 country hike. Oops. Anyway, it got to a week ago when i realised that nothing was being planned for me and so have come up with a multitude of excuses for why...many of them you will read below. Haha enjoy.
Have you arranged visa's for all the countries your going to?
Nope. In fact not even one. Now there is a very good reason for this. Most countries have realised that they can make an absolute mint by charging megabucks in western countries. So when we land in Laos we are heading down to the local agencies to organise the visa's then, and with any luck theyll be all done and processed in 5 days at around 1/4 the cost as it would have been from NZ.
What's the food like over there?
Not entirely sure. Will keep u posted. See? Told you I hadnt planned for anything yet! However, on second thought I have heard that deep fried spiders are a local delicacy and definitely something I am determined to try. If anyone knows any good spider restaurants in Phnom Penh, feel free to sing out and let me know.
You have planned accommodation though yes?
Of course not! Read above if you still arent getting this whole no planning thing. However lets do a little simulation exercise about why we haven't booked accommodation. You have just arrived in a foreign city with no English at 11pm after a 10 hour bus ride. Your looking for number 14 on street 48, and upon looking at your map, you have found no less than 10 street 48's within a couple hours walk from where you are standing. And you prepaid. Better put those running shoes on. Get the idea? When I get off the bus Im gonna want to sleep asap, which more than likely means just bargaining with one of the first 5 hostels i see.
Havent heard much about these orphanages ur going to see, whats up with that?
Yes well, thats for two main reasons really. Firstly we are planning on spending 4 full weeks at orphanages (ish) but we really want to get over there and see who needs us most before we commit to anything specific. There are two orphanages we would definitely like to catch up with in Phnom Penh namely CCH and NFC, but they are starting to look pretty solid with regards to funding and support, and we really want to be able to help those real grass roots ones which are putting in a solid effort, and need some additional exposure to the world!
Anywho, ask me any more questions and ill post up the answers here if I think most people will be interested. Apart from that, Au Reviour and see you all in feb!