Thursday, January 28, 2010

First Impressions (Or 'what on earth am I doing here?')

Twenty faces, waiting, watching expectantly. Pens poised in anticipation. In fact some have already neatly and precisely copied the rough introductory information that I had scrawled across the blackboard while I nervously waited. The air in the room is stifling, the moisture suffocating. The wooden shutters are open wide but there is not a breath of movement in the air. Beads of sweat form on my upper lip, I wipe them away anxiously. A droplet of sweat runs down the centre of my back. I look out at the faces. They're not bothered by the warmth in the room, some of them are wearing jackets, all of them are wearing crisp, clean shirts. How do they keep everything so clean with so much dust? My summery blouse and skirt seem shabby in comparison. My heart races and I'm not sure whether it is to do with the heat or my nerves. I suddenly have the urge to flee. What am I doing here? It's too hot. What am I doing here? I'm too young and inexperienced, and a foreigner. What right do I have to be here with my big ideas and my small class sizes and my fancy resources?

...7.30am.  I take a deep breath and complete a traditional Khmer salutation.
"Johm Riab Sua, hello my name is Emily..."

1 comment:

  1. What came next???
    Way to build the suspense.
    As to the right to be there...the fact you cared enough to travel 1000s of km at your own expense to share your experiences gives you a great deal of credibility in my eyes.