The following is a journal entry from one of the students who are currently on our Mission:Cambodian Volunteer Trip from Ivanhoe Grammar School in Australia. Hopefully this will give an insight into the work involved on the trips and the experiences to be had.
Second last full day in Cambodia
We woke this morning for a 6:00 breakfast and a 7:00 start for what turned out, for some, to be the most physically trying day in our trip so far. We had the bike ride and tour of the temples today, said good bye to the CKF staff and visited the night market.
We started this morning by eating everything the buffet at the hotel could offer before we headed over to Grasshopper Tours and collected our bikes. The bike tour was estimated to be 37km with stops every 5-15kms. The first stop on the tour was Angkor Wat. This was the biggest set of temples we saw and by far the most breathtaking. It was a huge island surrounded by a man-made moat and covered in temples and forest (a result of the neglect the temples had during the civil war). As a whole the group took probably a billion photos including the main temple reflecting off the water, various group photos and a photo of us in a rather impressive human pyramid. The other two temples, Bayon Temple and Ta Prom Temple, were smaller and fairly similar to Angkor Wat but they were none the less beautiful. The detail put into everything was amazing and although I feel that now I’ve seen the temples, and never need to see them again, I marvel at the builders’ ability to pay such attention to detail and create such wonders without modern technology.
After finishing the bike ride and immediately jumping into the pool in our Mishcam shirts, in respect for the filthy shirts we are no longer required to wear, we were forced to say goodbye to our amazing CKF leaders; Donna, Sam, Bora and M. We started off the emotional affair with a slideshow made by Sam, filled with good and bad photos of all of us, accompanied to ‘Lean on Me and ‘Man in the Mirror’- two of the most common songs sung by our team. We then exchanged mushy speeches leaving the majority of the girls in tears, myself included. It was so hard saying goodbye to such amazing people and realizing that we are leaving in 2 days, we have said goodbye to our beautiful children and now our beautiful CKF staff- it’s so hard to just stop being involved. After experiencing what we have experienced and meeting who we have met I don’t think there are many of us who do not plan on coming back one day.
For dinner we had incredibly westernized food that caused most of our team to break their vegetarianism. We finished the night back at the night market and most of the team got a fish foot massage and let a whole lot of hungry fish eat the dead skin off of our feet.
I can’t say that I am excited to be leaving Cambodia soon but I am looking forward to being back in Melbourne, see you in two days.
If you are interested in coming and volunteering with us email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info and don’t forget to check us out on facebook - www.facebook.com/cambodiankidsfoundation