Friday 27 July 2018

Cambodia Service Trip Reflection

The School’s 2018 Round Square Cambodia Service Trip ran from Wednesday 20 June until Friday 6 July. The trip gives students the opportunity to learn about Cambodian culture as well as serving local communities through many projects such as helping local children to learn English and much more.

We bring you a series of reflections from students whilst they were on the trip. These reflections demonstrate the life-changing and profound effect this service trip will have on their lives for many years to come.

Bike Ride/Angkor Watt – Will
,, On the 4th of July, group 3 went on an amazing bike ride around three of the most spectacular and ancient temples within Siem Reap; Angkor Wat, Bayon and Ta Prohm. It was really fun. Travelling through the tropical jungles by bike is and will be an experience to remember. It was interesting how each temple had a different story and purpose. I personally enjoyed listening to the tour guides information and then uncovering more of the history through site-seeing.

Village Experience – Group 2
,, On Saturday and Sunday, group 2 stayed in Peak Sneng village to experience what a day to day Cambodian villagers life was like, sleeping in the village on a Saturday night. We tried our hand at fishing, basket weaving, traditional Cambodian dancing, fence building, and the painting of a medical centre. It was an absolutely wonderful way to experience a Cambodian lifestyle and step out of our regular world of air conditioning and phone chargers. We had the joy of making friends with the local kids and spending time learning how to help each other overcome the language barriers and teach each other new words and phrases. I found it very rewarding to finish the two days and realise that while we were only there for two days, the experiences we had and the memories we made will stick with us and influence our lives much beyond the hours we spent in Peak Sneng village.

Angkor Kids Centre – Emmy
,, On Monday group 3 spent the morning at Angkor kids centre. The founder of the centre, Sam showed us the classrooms and playgrounds of the school and how they have developed since the organisation started. Our jobs for the morning was to spread out mounds of sand in the playground in preparation for the rainy season and tiling the floors of the classrooms. It was hard work but seeing the kids smiling and playing on the playground definitely made it worth it.

Floating Village – Felix
,, Today we went to visit the village floating on water also known as the village on stilts. It was a very sunny and fun day as we boated down the Mekong river. It was really interesting seeing all the activity that surrounded the Mekong in terms of their perseverance and how they adapt to their environment. It also was a different experience because we’ve never seen people that live on the water which was eye-opening!

Cultural Village Farewells – Tristan and Hamish
,, Today all the groups travelled to the cultural village where we met up with many of the students who we taught in the duration of our time in Peak Sneng. We greatly valued this experience as it gave us a designated time where we could properly farewell the friends we made on this trip. It was a day full of tears as we said our last goodbyes to the many Cambodians who we will affectionately remember. This day embodied that we did not only travel to Cambodia to teach and provide physical service to these people, moreover to provide emotional connections to these people and to show them that they are important in our lives also. This emotional connection was what drove both Cambodian and Ivanhoe students to tears as we saw the true impact of our time in Cambodia. This was a very fitting end to this incredibly rewarding experience.