The final couple of weeks in Cambodia were a complete whirlwind.
We were at the new school site every day with Corinne performing training sessions for the staff and also helping me set up the 13-desktop network.
Lack of internet threatened to put a halt to everything but on the Friday I was called to the window to see some guys throwing cables over trees and telegraph poles as they brought the feed into the centre. By the end of the day there was live internet available and the desktops were all happily chatting to the server.
Obviously there were some teething problems and we worked on the Saturday to finalise the setting up of the machines ready for the Monday training. On Monday the final bits and pieces were put in place during the training session for the leadership team and all was looking good. We waved goodbye to everyone and headed home to relax for our last days.
Tuesday saw a lack of internet at the centre and so we travelled in and spent the entire day trying to get it back. Corinne planned to train the last few staff on the system but without internet it wasn’t going to happen. The internet guys came out, checked stuff, went away, came back and finally reconfigured the router. We obtained internet access at 5pm just as the staff left for the day.
Our final days were then spent at Otres 1 (Friends Forever) and Independence (Small Beach Bar) before we headed up Phnom Penh on the Saturday morning for our flight, having finally managed to check in with Thai Airways on the Friday night.
We were 6 hours early for the flight to Bangkok so we sat in the airport lounge waiting for time to pass by. We dove to the front of the check-in queue when it opened and held a discussion with the agent as to whether we could have our luggage transferred from Thai Airways to Egypt Air in Bangkok, as both airways are part of Star Alliance. After much tapping of keyboard, checking with boss, summoning bigger boss, luggage labels were wrapped around our suitcases and we were informed that we would not see our suitcases until Hurghada.
The flight to Bangkok was uneventful and it was with relief that we realised we were bypassing Thai immigration. This doesn’t mean that we simple got off one plane and onto another – we had to go to the transfer desk, 1km away and then another 1/2km back to the gate, so we broke up the journey with a beer and duck with rice (for me of course).
The plane for the longest leg was nowhere near the quality of the plane we’d had on our original journey out to Thailand, so we did our best to sleep through most of the flight.
Arriving in Cairo it was again a simple matter to get to the transfer gate but we’d already been notified that our flight had been cancelled and we had been checked onto the following one so, instead of a 2 hour wait, it was another 4 hours sitting around in the airport in Cairo.
Eventually we landed in Hurghada and went to collect our bags but they were nowhere to be seen (we had seen them being unloaded from the plane). An customs officer asked us to follow her and took us through to International Arrivals where we had our bags searched and were eventually allowed to leave the airport. Waiting outside was Amgad – the guy is a star. Cleo was really annoyed with us when we got back but she seems to be settling in again now.
We’ve had a couple of hiccoughs since being back in Egypt but it’s lovely to be back on our sofa, sleeping in our own bed, wonderful weather, all very relaxed. Corinne’s laptop decided to pack in so we’ve been urgently seeking a replacement and we pick it up this evening. She became rather annoyed with her old one yesterday and gave it a bit of a slap, which seems to have fixed the problem with the screen.