Friday 01 June 2018

My Cambodia Series

Activity levels are on the rise as we draw closer to the 2018 Cambodia Service Trip which embarks on Wednesday 20 June and runs till Friday 6 July. Students and staff are busily planning for the trip, organising events, coordinating fundraising activities, and for the first timers, dreaming of what this life-changing service trip will entail.

Some members of the group are veterans who have made the trip to Cambodia a number of times whilst others will be nervously anticipating the journey, full of secondhand stories and brimming with information. In the lead-up to the trip, we will be interviewing staff and students. To begin with, we hear from Teacher James Chappel and Year 11 student Kiralee Kouvas.

How did you get involved with this Cambodia Service Trip?

James Chappel: I have been on two Cambodia Service Trips prior to this year. I was lucky enough to be involved in 2014 and 2015. I am very excited to be heading back to witness the progress Ivanhoe’s involvement has helped, and to see the faces of our wonderful Cambodian friends.

Kiralee Kouvas: I heard about students who had previously gone and teachers who had recommended it to me. I felt that it would be a worthwhile trip that catered to my skill set and allow me to help people in the wider community. Also I really enjoyed the assembly speeches that students presented after they went on the Cambodia Service Trip.

What fundraising activities have you been involved with?

Kiralee Kouvas: To fundraise my money I did two sausage sizzles with Will Chen, another student attending the trip. We held it outside Woolworths and fundraised $1,300.

What is your role on this trip?

James Chappel: I will be a staff leader, hopefully helping our students gain as much as possible from this opportunity.

What do you think will be the most challenging aspect of this trip?

James Chappel: Being in a developing nation with 60 odd students under your care can be daunting. I really want our students to feel safe and happy during the trip; all the while helping them realise the perspective this trip brings.

Kiralee Kouvas: Being confronted with poverty in other countries and experiencing the trip separate from my close family and friends.

What do you think the most rewarding aspect of this trip will be?

James Chappel: Seeing our already wonderful students develop a global understanding and a gratitude for the educational, and socioeconomic opportunities they enjoy in Australia. When these students return to Australia they exhibit greater selflessness, leadership, and gratitude. None of us learn anything in the comfort zone; to see the young adults that will shape this worlds future find reward from risk inspires me perpetually.

Kiralee Kouvas: I think the most rewarding aspects of this trip will be teaching the kids English and being able to observe their improvement from our lessons. Also experiencing the cultural differences and being able to meet new people.