My new life in Cambodia came to an abrupt and busy end on Saturday 2nd April. The last week at work proved to be rather hectic. We had a couple of pretty significant meetings on the English project, then on the Friday I had to go in to introduce Charlene to the folks in the Department, as she will be keeping in touch with them on an advisory basis after I have gone. She also met up with Carol from Peace Corps who will take over some of the organisational stuff from me – setting up meetings etc. We had a great lunch in the salad bar, Vego. I had to say my goodbyes to the Programme Office staff, while the DCD staff presented me with a nice scarf at their big Friday meeting and I made my last ‘speech’ in faltering Khmer. On Friday afternoon, I was sketching out the bones of a funding bid for VSO Cambodia to carry on with some of my work (only better) and did not finish till around 6. After that it was out for a night with whoever could manage from the PP VSO community. We went first to a really interesting local restaurant called Ratanakiri. The owner, out of principle, shares all the profits with the staff, who meet each month to examine the monthly accounts and decide how money should be distributed, including a distribution to different worthy causes. We were about 20 in number so I hope we contributed to their profits this month. It was a nice evening. Saturday went by in a blur. I finished packing, gave my bicycle and various other items (too heavy to pack!) to my VSO friend John then went for lunch with Vantha, VSO’s senior education officer in Cambodia. He shared with me some of the terrible experiences he had as a teenager during Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge nightmare. I have tremendous respect for how he handled himself then and now. Later he presented Joan and me with a beautiful traditional Cambodian painting on canvas – two ‘apsara’ dancers. As Vantha left, Or Siem, the Depute Director of DCD and my main partner in my work, arrived to take me to the airport and we parted there. Despite many attempts to do so, I was unable to get my luggage down to the limit and was stung with an excess charge at the check in. When I got to KL Joan was waiting at the main concourse and we shared a little time over coffee before a lengthy bus, train and car journey to Fuziana’s comfortable and welcoming house. There’s still a lot of ‘processing’ for me to do about my Cambodian experience: about aid and development, about dependency and empowerment, about democracy and stability, about wealth and poverty, about policy and practice, about individuals and social norms, about friendship and family. For now it is enough that I am looking forward to this holiday, when I have the chance to revisit places I never thought I would see again and meet up with many of the friends that I made 35 years ago in my first VSO experience in Malaysia.