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Aynsley's Great Cambodian Adventure Part 3

Date: 29-01-2014
Author: Aynsley Damery

Getting To Know You!

Blog Date 06 January 2014

This is the third blog in the series about my great adventure to Cambodia on the B1G1 2014 Study Tour! 

Quick recap;

For those of you who don’t know, on 4 January I left for Siem Reap, Cambodia to join the B1G1 2014 Study Tour. I’ll be visiting some of the projects that we, at Tayabali Tomlin, support and also helping build a playground for over 150 primary schoolchildren, conducting a knowledge workshop for scholarship students and visiting vocational training and community projects, amongst others.

Arriving at Siem Reap

It seemed like a long journey from London to Siem Reap (with a 6 hour stopover in Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport) but the approach to the airport in Siem Reap took my breath and weariness away! It was not was I was expecting; jungle near the border with Thailand, yes, but then large open (and dry) rice fields, with dozens of palm trees and French colonial style houses of a size I certainly wasn’t expecting, no!
Coincidentally, we met our B1G1 hosts Paul Dunn and Masami Sato, who had arrived earlier from Singapore, in the immigration queue (us having skipped the huge visa queues with an eVisa – highly recommended!). This was my first time meeting Masami, although I had seen and heard so much I felt like I already knew her. She later said the same of me…. We then met another of the B1G1 team, Hashima Hassim, in baggage collection. Hashima had long been in email contact about the tour so it was great to finally meet her too.

A very quick transfer to our hotel, Victoria Angkor [with our very excited and delightful 'Duracell Bunny' tour guide, Silen (pronounced Sea Lion she gleefully told us!)] and an even quicker nap before the welcome dinner where we were to meet our fellow tour participants...

An amazing bunch!

We were to be joined on the tour by 6 other B1G1 Partners, some with their other halves and children (14 in total). After a quick pre-dinner drink, Paul made us sing for our supper! We all had to stand, introduce ourselves and explain what we were looking forward to most about the tour. Whilst a little daunting it meant we all got to know each other really quickly and surprisingly every one remembered every one else’s name after the evening.

Getting To Know You

Just a quick introduction, as they will pop up again and again later in my travels…..

Verena Tunn from Olmachar Dental Care in Aberdeen with her creative partner and video-man Jean Paul, who was making a documentary of the tour for her dental practice.

  • Me and Steve Barton representing Tayabali Tomlin of course!
  • Jayne Cuttenden and Amanda Halfpenny from Lighthouse Health Group in Perth, Australia
  • Vivian Bateman from Arrow Accounting and Business Management on the Sunshine Coast, Australia
  • Jeremy Harris from Gill, McKerrow & Associates, from Brisbane, Australia with his two children Josh and Jessica
  • Kerrie Phipps from KerriePhipps.com in Dubbo, New South Wales, Australia with her son Ethan
  • Helen & Guy Campbell from Know Audiology & Specualist Medical Centre in Melbourne, Australia

Early To Bed

We enjoyed our first great Cambodian dinner together with much fun and laughter. Having received our tour briefing, itinerary and B1G1 cap, tshirt and bag, it was (early?) to bed for an early start the following morning.


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Date: 29-01-2014
Author: Aynsley Damery


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