Another thing that left an impression on me was his working methods. Andy has a space where his guides can research, have time to themselves, to relax before getting back to what are often stressful lives. I got the impression that this would lead to them feeling like they belong to something a little more profound than just a way to pay the bills, which in turn would foster leadership skills, self reliance, business acumen, the things we take for granted back home where time to think is taken for granted. To have something like shared with me adds a wonderful dimension to what has been a great week here.
I had the privilege today of being invited into the world of one of the local philanthropists today in Siem Reap. Andy Booth became comfortably enough off by the age of 37 to ‘retire’, but not being of the thumb twiddling sort he has set up a business in Siem Reap that offers quality guided tours in Siem Reap and Angkor Wat. Andy is based in Sinagapore, yet commutes by air to keep his fledgling, but thriving business going. The wonderful caveat he has printed into his terms are that fifty percent of the profits must go to the building of local schools, by the time he is done here I can imagine that this will make a true difference to one of those places that all too often leeches the tourist dollar to the inept.