“Yeah, Don’t Drink The Tap Water”


We landed in Phnom Penh last night, Saturday the 11th, after about 28 hours of being in three airplanes and three airports. David, our host with Building Trust International, met us at the airport and kindly took us to our hotel, the beautiful Lucky Star 2, at around 10:30 in the evening. David’s driver, and now our driver for two weeks, is a man named Tom, and he will be escorting us around in his Tuk Tuk.

We rode into the city, chatting with David about “what kind of people we are,” and about what we should know about the city and the schedule for the week. When asked if there was anything we should know about the tap water, David quickly responded, “yeah, don’t drink the tap water.”


 We woke up early on Sunday, largely because none of us know what time it is, and made our way around the corner to struggle through a breakfast order. Coffee, or what we hoped we had ordered as coffee, arrived in the form of green tea. We poured our teas and sat looking at other people’s food, wondering how on Earth we could order it. Then actual coffee came (although it tasted more like Nesquik), and we waited concernedly a little longer.

 Finally, the group decided, and Simon ordered, “three of those please” while pointing at the neighbor’s table. It was beef and noodles, or what we later researched to decide was Kuy Teav, and it was tremendous.

 David met us at 9:30 at the hotel with Tom. We immediately headed to meet the contractor and see the site where the container will be cut, dismantled, and reassembled in the next couple of weeks. We then went to pick out our container!!!!

In a large open storage lot, among hundreds of other containers in mixed condition, we selected a container from 2004 that will be the home of our new clinic. Although not much to look at right now, and not something for normal people to be excited about, all of us, David included, are giddy about the purchase and so excited to start working on it.

We sat for lunch after the purchase and reviewed a few of the details of design. The newest change will be the inclusion of a significant amount of glass instead of metal panels, allowing much more light and an easier surface to sanitize and keep clean.

The design details will be completed tomorrow, but since it’s Sunday we decided to have a beer and sit looking over the river. It’s been a big day already.

More to come tomorrow. Thanks again for all of your support.

-Jhanea, Simon, & Patrick