Exploring NYC with my SHE-CAN sisters – by Sreileak Hour
After a whole year of studying, SHE-CAN scholars are now having fun, while also gaining work experience during their summer breaks. Most are participating in internships in the U.S. and some are back in their home countries. It has been almost two months since I started my internship with an investment group in San Francisco. It has been one of the greatest experiences. Two of my SHE-CAN sisters, Sreytom and Vuochnear, are completing their internships in NYC and Washington, D.C. The three of us always wanted to travel together, but we are always busy with studying and the only time that we could be together is during SHE-CAN’s Leadership Training.
Therefore, since we are all staying in the U.S. this summer we thought this is a perfect time for us to travel together. We decided to meet up in New York where Sreytom works. The first time I visited New York was last year when I went to join my mentor, Anne Devereux-Mills, for her daughter’s wedding, and ever since then I’ve been in love. I like the energy of the city and the endless list of things to do. I always wanted to come back some day and explore more, and finally I did it! I took a red-eye and got to New York on July 26. Right on the first day of arrival, we got to explore many tourist attractions and did a lot of fun activities thanks to Sreytom who is now an expert of New York City.
On the first day, Sreytom and I explored around her apartment. It is a really nice area. There are plenty of boba milk tea places. We went and got some boba. They were good! Then we went to pick Vuochnear up at the bus station. We walked to Washington Square Park and had mini photo shoots along the way because who could resist all those beautiful buildings? Then we took the subway to The High Line and Chelsea Market. It is my most favorite market in the U.S. because it has a lot of local and fresh produce. We had the freshly made noodle soup, which really made our day. At night, we went to Times Square. There were so many huge billboards. It was so crowded and bright even after 10 p.m. on Thursday that I felt so overwhelmed yet it was an incredible experience. So many activities, so much noise and so much fun!
On the second day, we took the ferry to Liberty Island to see The Statue of Liberty and went to Ellis Island to see the National Museum of Immigration. After that, we went to The Metropolitan Museum of Arts. It is gigantic. There are many collections ranging from artifacts to modern art. There was even a costume collection that has costumes from many famous contemporary designers. I was fond of the costume from one of my most favorite movies, “The Sound of Music.” It was Anne who introduced me to the movie, and thanks to her I got to experience my first Broadway show. She got the three of us tickets to see Kinky Boots. We went to see the show after exploring the museum. It was very amazing and a lot of fun.
The next day, there were only two of us, Vuochnear and I, because Sreytom had to leave for Minnesota early in the morning. In fact, that meant our “guidance angel” whom we consider the “real New Yorker” was gone. That was when everyone went a little crazy. Vuochnear and I had to navigate the city ourselves. We tried to look up the train to Brooklyn, which was supposed to take only less than 30 minutes to get there. However, it turned out to be more than two hours. We got on and off several trains and ended up at the same places. Indeed, we were lost for more than an hour until we figured out the right train. Finally, we managed to get to where we wanted. We got to walk on the Brooklyn Bridge, which is stunning. Then we went to Wall Street, which was our last destination.
This trip was a great experience. Three girls, from different areas in Cambodia and going to different schools in the U.S., had made their way to one of the most famous cities in America. We made our dream came true. It was very fun to be free spirits and explore a new city with two of my best friends. This trip will be one of the memories that the three of us will always talk about for the rest of our lives.