'He had a job to do ... fly to Cambodia'
Schiphol Travel Blog› entry 6 of 17 › view all entries
So here it was, the day I would leave for Cambodia. It had been 6 months since I started the fundraising campaign. As you can read in the previous blog entry, the simple direct marketing campaign I had set up was quite successful. In August I went on a trip through Rajasthan, India with my mate Biedjee and I was getting very close to the target of 2.200 GBP. Before leaving I posted one of the updates about the campaign to the donors. I mentioned that it would be extremely cool if I would make the target before travelling to India. You can imagine my utter delight when I received an e-mail, mere minutes before boarding the flight to Delhi, that a large donation had been made that rocketed me way past the target.
In the two months that followed my trip to India a few more donations came in. Unfortunately, having hit the target and having a lot of teaching ahead, I had to shift my priorities a bit. Also, having passed an assessment for VSO and awaiting a placement as a volunteer in an Asian country made me change my main focus as well. In the past couple of months I have therefore not been able to put a substantial amount of time into the MAG project. Considering the fact that I had already made the target, the necessity was also much less present.
Nevertheless, by the time I had to transfer the last donations to MAG I had gathered a total of 2.680 GBP. That's a nifty 122% of target. I had also decided that I did not consider it fair if the trekking that would be done during the first two days in Siem Reap would be paid out of these donations. I had already paid for the flight tickets myself (after all, one can build quite a few houses for the price of a return ticket to Siem Reap). I therefore added a personal donation covering these costs. It felt all the better, knowing that all the money that friends, colleagues and family had donated actually went to either building these houses or the other excellent work that MAG does around the world. After all, the whole Cambodia Community Challenge was just a steppingstone in order to reach a higher goal: fundraising for MAG's main activities.
I had been so incredibly busy with concerts, teaching, dinners with friends and other fun stuff that I still hadn't fully packed when I woke up the morning of the day I would fly east. With only a few hours left and my normal pre-travel anxiety and stress kicking in full force I went round the house like a maniac gathering the last bits and pieces. It's a good thing that I always use a checklist because I would definitely forget a few crucial items. Some of these I had to quickly buy at the local drugstore. I also squeezed in a half hour telephone conversation with my friend Gijs in Bangladesh (where he's on a VSO assignment) and tried to unwind by playing a few minutes of bass guitar. But I had just about launched into a kick-ass version of Pineapple Thief's Show a Little Love when the doorbell rang. Dad was there to pick me up and drop me off at the train station.
The trip to Schiphol was uneventful and the baggage drop-off and customs check remarkably quick and convenient. I grabbed a beer, had a phone call with Spat and typed out this blog before heading for the gate and security check. At 20:45 I would fly to Bangkok, where I would arrive around 13:00 hours local time. Since the transfer to the flight to Siem Reap was unfeasibly tight I had been changed to a later flight. This would mean a couple of hours of hanging around at Bangkok Airport, but there's probably worse places to kill time. For now I was slowly shifting back from last months priorities to the excitement of going back to Cambodia after 5 years and paying my dues to all those wonderful people that had made donations to the MAG cause. Indeed, as Kim Wilde had sung almost 30 years ago 'He had a job to do ... fly to Cambodia!'.