The penultimate day

Today marks my penultimate day as a VSO volunteer working in the Ministry of Fish.  As I walked to work this morning I pondered the list of things I would be party to for the penultimate time today.  Things like:

  • The good morning, how are you roll call as I head down the lane
  • Playing hide and seek with the little Singaporean girl heading to school with her mum
  • Hitting my head on the tree (yep 7 months on and I still haven’t learned!)
  • Smiling and greeting my posse of pals en route to the office
  • Never knowing what sights will greet me as I wait for the lights to turn red and venture across the road (today it was the Cambodian National Lion Dance team on the back of a pick up truck)
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  • Getting a coffee from the van next to the Philippine Embassy and proceeding to get indigestion from drinking it too fast (still not learnt that one either!)
  • Being laughed at by the tuktuk driver with the bloodshot eyes outside the Ministry of Fish
  • The wild gesticulations of Huong the gateman as he demands to try on my glasses, drink my coffee or nick my phone whilst simultaneously sampaying and grinning from ear to ear
  • Being the first person to arrive on my floor of the building and sitting wondering if anyone else will in fact turn up that day or if the call of the hungry ghosts will once more take them away
  • Performing my duties as unofficial marriage counsellor to members of the Cambodian Civil Service
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  • A cheery good morning, how are you? from Danith as he arrives in the office before dashing off out to yet another meeting
  • Getting half way to the loo before realising I’ve forgotten loo paper and having to trek back
  • Noodling about on the internet quite a lot (pretty sure it’s not the penultimate time I’ll do this but it will no longer be in the FiA offices)
  • Packing up and leaving early safe in the knowledge that a large proportion of staff in the building will have left before me (or not even returned from lunch) and noone will notice (or care) that I’ve gone regardless

My time with VSO hasn’t been as fruitful, fulfilling and life changing as I might have wished but I’m so thankful to have had the opportunity to build up this wonderful routine of banal and bonkers over the past few months and will certainly mourn the loss of parts of it as I transition to the next chapter of becoming me.

 

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