I recently contacted Mark for assistance and advice regarding a trip to Cambodia in September 2017. The trip was originally planned to lay the basis for a larger research project about Cambodian society. Mark has been invaluable in advising me about both the project and the trip itself, showing himself to be both knowledgeable about the country and the realities of travelling ‘off the beaten track’ and also enthusiastic and supportive about my work. Without his help, my project would have been centred on Phnom Penh. As it is, I will be able to see visiting more remote areas, and seeing places and people generally neglected by visitors. Mark has been incredibly generous in his time and enthusiasm about the project, particularly during the planning phase, and his contribution has resulted in a more ambitious and interesting project than I had originally envisaged.
Mark is also accompanying me on the trip, and his presence will make my time in Cambodia more productive than it would have been otherwise. He has already liaised with an interpreter and driver, and made contact with other people in-country who may be able to provide assistance. In addition to managing these smaller details of daily life, he will also provide me with the necessary support and security to travel in more remote, and less accessible, areas. As a result, I will be free to get on with my job as he does his. Indeed, it is only because Mark is going to be coming along that I am able to make the trip in the first place!
I am not a particularly adventurous or experienced traveller, but Mark has consistently put me at ease and given me confidence. He has tirelessly answered endless questions, been responsive and helpful in all communications, and I am confident will provide me with an excellent support and advice while on the trip. I look forward to reporting back after the trip, and to planning the next one.
Dr Fiona Gill
University of Sydney