I've been preparing for the poverty. For the less than stellar accommodations I'd be living in for 2 weeks. For the fish and rice I'd eat each day.
For two months before I left, i went to the Y to improve my stamina because I would be biking 20 miles daily to a school/farm to volunteer with the kids. I'd be living in an dormitory, where my room would be 40 steps up from the road and the Internet access another 40 steps up.
Well, here is my reality.
I am living at the Bou Savy Guesthouse, in the lap of Cambodian luxury.
I'm sitting here writing on a well appointed veranda a few steps from my simple yet lovely room, 15 steps up from the road.
The morning breeze plays on the surrounding palm leaves like a piano. I hear roosters and a combination of bells and woodwinds faintly entertaining from a distance temple.
My veranda overlooks a palm-lined swimming pool (pictured) surrounded by green, two-tiered umbrellas and maroon cushions atop wooden lounges. To my left, workers wearing crisply laundered uniforms prepare for our morning meal.
Which is not fish and rice. Unless I order fish and rice.
I will order from an extensive menu designed to attract tourists coming to visit Anger Wat.
Poverty surrounds me. But it does not devour me. Where I live, anyway.
In a few hours, I will enter poverty where I work. But there is no bicycle. Saven, my own chauffer, awaits to drive me to work for the next two weeks in an open-air taxi called a Tuk Tuk.
As I said, I sit in the lap of Cambodian luxury.