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Day 1: Arrival

We arrived to Haverford bright and early and headed up to JFK Airport in New York City. Upon arrival, we grabbed breakfast and prepared ourselves for the long road ahead of us. After a few hours, we flew over the North Pole and the surrounding ice. The views were incredible, as you were able to see the curvature of the earth, and the full force of the sun. A couple of movies later and we began our descent into Hong Kong. Although it was cloudy, you could see the peaks of mountains poking through. As you got closer, you could see hundreds of ships scattered across the bay. After landing, we were all able to finally stretch our legs and move around for the first time in many hours. Upon boarding the plane to Phnom Penh, everybody instantly fell asleep and after what seemed like just a few short moments, we were awakened by the flight attendants to prepare for landing. The airport was surrounded by the city, and while landing we were able to scout out what we were about to experience. We made our way through customs, filling out all of the various forms, and after a little while, we exited the airport. As we opened the doors, we were greeted by our friends at Where There Be Dragons. We gathered our things and rode in Tuk-Tuks to the Starwood Inn, where we would be staying for the next couple of nights. We dropped our things off and headed over to our first meal in Cambodia. While we waited for dinner, we all reflected on the things we had noticed as we rode in the Tuk-Tuks around the city. Khalil noted that the Tuk-Tuks were a new and very different form of transportation than what we were used to. Mr. Hart reminded us of the hot air that hit us as we exited the airport, exclaiming “I like, love sweating.” I saw a few kids, younger than me, driving around on motorcycles, which was something that I did not expect. Kenny noticed how many of the cars did not use turn signals, and instead just moved around in the street, ignoring lane lines entirely. Sunny said the drivers were irresponsible and how he smelled different foods as we drove by the various stores and restaurants in Phnom Penh. Sawyer noticed the humid air and the very different atmosphere in the city compared to what we were accustomed to in the US. Mr. Long saw how few traffic lights there were and the ornate architecture of the buildings that lined the street. George recognized the friendliness of the people and how it seemed everyone was having a good time, no matter what they were doing. Jack saw how there were more outdoor shops than the normal indoor shops we see in the US. He also saw many different languages being used on signs and storefronts. Ben, having recently traveled to India, quickly found many similarities between the Tuk-Tuks used in Cambodia, and the Rickshaws used in India. After the food arrived, we began our first Cambodian Meal. We returned to the inn, and after a very exhausting thirty-six hours, we were all tired and went right to bed, preparing ourselves for the journey ahead.