Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Visitor

Last November I had the amazing opportunity to visit our partners in the field. I traveled with a great team of people that I feel fortunate to have met. I think about that trip every day.  After a little encouragement from Love146 staff and friends I am happy to share with you a memory of a very patient US Advocacy Director, a new friend, and a visitor. 

While visiting Siem Reap, Cambodia we stayed in a sweet little hotel whose name has been changed to protect...ehh forget it, I just feel bad telling you what it's called. I had the privilege of sharing a room with Kathy (our US Advocacy Director) and Jesse (member of the team and new friend). I say privilege not only because they are great people, but because without them this experience would not have been half as amusing as it was. 

Getting ready to turn in for the night we were abruptly welcomed to our new hotel with a loud squeaking noise.  Our screams alerted Kathy, who was in the other room to the presence of our visitor. I am shy to admit that I have never slept anywhere with critters before, so I was pretty freaked. To add insult to injury, Jesse confesses that she cleaned up rat droppings when we first checked into our room so that I would not have a heart attack. I tried very hard to be tough, but I really cant hack it when it comes to rats (or their droppings). After a little begging from Jesse and I Kathy very patiently agreed that we would all pack up our bags and go to the hotel across the street. 

Sleepily, (it was 1am) we lugged all our belongings downstairs. To our surprise there was no front desk staff and the whole entrance to the hotel was locked with a metal gate and a padlock. We were locked in!! We noticed that there was a guard outside and we asked him to come unlock us from the rat resort. Another surprise. The guard doesn't speak english. After much efforts to explain our situation I resort to my amazing artistic abilities and draw a rat on a piece of paper and point up to out room. 

Immediately, the guard bursts into a fit of laughter. Apparently we were being foolish girls who had never seen a rat before. The guard called his son who spoke english to come and explain to us that his father was not allowed to let us leave. Not wanting to sleep in the rat resort we fished around the front desk and found the phone number for the owner. The expat owner a)did not believe us that there was a rat in our room and b)tried to explain that it was probably gecko droppings and "not a big deal." WHAT? 

Our story ends happily here. In the rat resort. In new rooms. All a little sleepier, no rat to be heard form again. 

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