The Cambodian Volunteer Foundation has three houses in Phnom Penh to house their volunteers, the Main Volunteer house, Mr. Lim’s house and the Airhouse.
The main volunteer house is located on Street 24BT. It’s surrounded by a maze of streets, that are made up of a mix of narrow paved roads, mud and dust and broken cobblestones. Significantly, the main volunteer house is only a $2USD tuk tuk ride from the Russian Market and Aeon Mall.
Mr. Lim’s house is also on the same road as the Main Volunteer House, about a one minute walk away. Mr. Lim’s house also has a little shop with everything priced in Riel rather than USD (meaning cheap).
The Airhouse is located out by the airport on Street 2004, it’s a $5USD tuk tuk ride away from the Russian Market (but you can get it for $4USD if you bargain) and is the most isolated of the houses. This is where I’ve been staying while I’ve been volunteering at the National Borey for Infants and Children. Or, in other words, the orphanage for children with additional needs.
The Airhouse is a typical city house, it’s set in a row of houses exactly like it. Distinguished by the rusty brown colour of the metal grills outside its front door. The whole house is one room width wide. The entrance is easy to recognise, it’s brown tiles spotted with pots of aloe vera. There’s a jumble of dusty shoes stacked outside the metal grill. The front door is usually locked by the resident cook and cleaner, Lily.
Meals are served in the kitchen and taken in the dining room on the ground floor. Except for breakfast, which has the privilege of being enjoyed directly from the dining table (more on food in another post).
There are 4 stories to the house and a rooftop. A lounge can be found on the third floor, with couches and chairs made of cushions and rounded wooden sticks.
In total, there are four rooms that house the volunteers. Each has its own bathroom and shower facilities. I shared a room with another volunteer and then moved downstairs when another room became available.
Tomorrow I will be moving to the main volunteer house to cut down on transport costs to my NGO placement (starting on Monday).
Some photos of my room at the Airhouse…
The bathroom. The toilet does not take paper (hence the bin) and there was no hot water. It is so refreshing taking two cold showers a day to combat the heat and humidity.
The entrance to the Airhouse, note the aloe vera. The balcony is very much utilised.
A view down the street of the Airhouse. There is a wee little shop further down that sells the local beer for $0.50USD (Angkor Beer) and small chocolate (ish) bars for $0.12USD.
My bed! My mosquito net isn’t big enough to cover the bed, so I decided to improvise and use the Lonely Planet book as a weight. The fan I leave on all night, no blankets or top sheets are necessary. It’s currently 11.00 p.m. and 28 degrees, Apple weather says humidity is 79%.