Month: July 2016

Cambodia- Personal Experience

Our trip to Cambodia changed our lives. It was such a memorable experience that we will never forget. The memories we made were unforgettable and will live us for the rest of our lives. It made me realise how lucky we are here in Australia. We have proper, strong scaffolding. The use flimsy wooden sticks or branches. We have a massive plus in Australia. We have more safety here than they do. We have road rules that are set in concrete. We have that added bonus of electricity on building sites. Over in Cambodia at the World of Hope School we had to do everything by hand.

The kids were crazy about stickers. Whenever we pulled out stickers they would always yell out ‘teacher me, me’. Whenever we pulled out the toothbrushes and soap, they all wanted a bar of soap, a toothbrush, and a tube of toothpaste each.  Some of them snuck three toothbrushes into their bags. They would always end up giving them back or giving them other students who didn’t have a toothbrush yet. The kids would always get excited about washing their hands every morning before school started and in the afternoon when the second half of students came to the school.

Both halves of the day the kids were willing to help us doing construction. They didn’t ask they just jumped into the line and help out, no questions. When we were doing the buckets of dirt and mud they help out that, even tho the buckets were heavy; they didn’t care. They helped paint the kindy with paint brushes, short handle rollers and long handle rollers that reached the ceiling. They help us when we were spray painting the walls with the stencils.

The kids were crazy about soccer, giving out hugs and STICKERS. They loved it when Dante (Bruno’s son) and Celeste took them out on the soccer pitch and played a massive game of soccer with them every day. By the end of the trip on our last day at the school, we Wirreanda kids are embarrassed to admit that we were ALL crying. Some of us might say that they didn’t cry. But we all did. It was a truly emotional time and was extremely hard for us to leave the kids behind. One joke that someone made up was ‘as long as they are less than 40kg we can take them home.’ We really do miss those kids and I know I want to go back but I’m not sure about everyone else.

By the last day, the kids were better at their English and they were saying ‘I love you’. That got half of us crying in the first place. Some of the kids were confused and asked why were crying, I said that we were going back to Australia and that we weren’t going to see them again. I said once to them that I’m going to miss them; when they heard that they kept saying ‘I’m going to miss you to. I love you’. We would always say I love you back. I think a lot of the Wirreanda kids got some kisses on the cheek .

I know all of us are going to miss the bright, energetic, bubbly kids .

Felicity Baxter


Cambodia – Final Day at World of Hope School

An incredibly busy day, doing the final touches on our kindergarten. We battled the intense heat to paint the building and Ms Parker designed the art work for the exterior and interior of the building. Many tears shed today as the students farewelled the children at the school. I will let the images convey the emotion of the day. 

Cambodia – Reflections

Our trip to Cambodia has been amazing. My eyes have been opened and the experiences will be cherished forever except when Dante scared me about gorillas at the temples. Teaching the children and constructing the kindergarten has been truely rewarding. To learn, watch and realise how the Cambodian people live, their culture, their way of life, including why the country is so poor. It’s amazing how happy the children are and their want to learn and be at school. As you can see in these few photos there’s a girl holding her 3 year old sister while doing her work at school, this is because their parents have to work and therefore they have to look after their siblings. Also you see the muddy road we have to walk on to get to the school the amount of times we’ve slipped is uncountable but this is what the people live with every day that live nearby the school. I’ve enjoyed every minute of the trip, especially with the amazing teachers we are with.

– Chloe O’Reilly 

During this trip in Cambodia I have made some life changing memories and will forever cherish this amazing experience, I am so grateful that I have been a part of something so fantastic. What made this trip so eye-opening for me was most definitely the kids and how they grew up and what conditions they have been put through. It makes me feel so fortunate for the life I have in Australia. 
I have made so made memories and friendships with the children and it will be so hard to say goodbye to them, I will never forget this experience and there has been so much happiness throughout this trip, I’ve had an absolute ball.

~Amber Goode

Cambodia – Daily Experiences 

It has been a truly humbling experience to watch our students shine, observing them endure heat, humidity and rain all in an effort to build this kindergarten for the students of World of Hope School.The reality that we will be leaving shortly has kicked in and many students have commented on how hard it will be to leave the children and Cambodia.

Students have equally embraced construction and the teaching component of the project, many making bonds with the students in their classes. Students greet the children at the beginning of each morning and afternoon session and conclude the sessions handing out stickers and being surrounded by the affectionate children.

Each day we leave with our buses surrounded by children waving goodbye, a sight that will long be remembered by all.

This evening we were fortunate to observe traditional Khmer dancing and spend an evening out together.

I could not be prouder to work alongside these dedicated students, teachers and volunteers.

Cambodia – Angkor Temples 

Today we visited the Angkor Temples which was an amazing experience. Our tour guide discussed the historical context about each of the three temples we visited. Each temple was built in the 12th century and represented different faiths. The first temple was dedicated to Hinduism and the following two were dedicated to Buddhism. The last temple we visited is where the film ‘Tomb Raider’ (featuring Angelina Jolie) was recorded and produced. This entire trip has been a life changing experience which has had a positive impact on myself. I have connected with all of my peers during my time in Cambodia. The highlight of my trip so far has been being able to contribute my support to the World Of Hope School and seeing the beaming smiles on each of the children’s faces at the end of the day. I would also like to thank Ms Bruno, Ms Parker and Mr Dixon for making this amazing once in a life time opportunity possible and ensuring that we are all safe. Also a huge thank you to Rey for being such an inspirational director and making us all feel welcomed. 
Thank you, Celeste Cameron.

Cambodia – Visit to New Hope 

Visiting the school we worked at 2 years ago made me realise how much of an impact we all made two years ago. I am so proud of what we all achieved and am hoping that we will be able to have the same outcome this year at our new school. My highlight of the day; possibly the whole trip was seeing all those young children grow up and improve on their English skills. To see kindy children in the kindy room we made was amazing! There was an increase in the amount of children that attend in the morning I believe this is due to there being more classrooms and teachers available. 

We finished the morning with the class Eryka and I chose to work with singing us a song “Take me to your heart” This song was sung to us last time and almost brings me to tears every time I hear it. I love those children so much and I can’t wait to come back in my own time.

Cortney Ellingham 

Cambodia – Khmer History 

The first week in Cambodia for me has been an eye opening and life changing experience. I have enjoyed every minute of it. My most happiest moment so far was visiting the orphanage and dancing with the children. I learnt technics from them and we taught them dance routines such as the nut bush and the macarena. Although it was exhausting it was worth every minute to see a smile on their faces. Today we visited the killing fields and the war memorial. After learning about what happened and how many people lost their lives during this terrible time made me appreciate my life more. 
-Emma McAllister 

Today (Sunday the 10th of July) was a long, but interesting day. We went to the Pagoda and Killing Fields. Which was really cool. I enjoyed walking around looking at the photos and news article type things that were around the place. There was a lot of cultural architecture there which I really enjoyed. I liked seeing the style of each building/sculpture especially the Buddha’s. On top of the huge learning experience, there was also 2 tiny kittens which were just adorable. After lunch we headed to the War Museum which was an eye opener. The ‘tour guide’ was actually a survivor of the Khmer Rogue War that happened in 1935-1939. He got shot quite a few times yet managed to survive which is amazing. After the war museum we went to a cultural village which was cool, there were quite a few performances there which were nice. We also had dinner there which was nice. Then after a really long day we finally made it back to the hotel. 
-Chelsea Joblin

Cambodia – Floating Villages 

Today we went to the floating village. It took about an hour to get there and we got into two groups and got in massive canoes. The canoe ride went down a river and went pass some houses on massive stilts, the village wasn’t really floating as there wasn’t much water in river. We stopped halfway at a restaurant that was floating on water.

Mathew Bruniges 

When I think about the week I have spent in Cambodia, I feel very lucky and fortunate. Each day I get to spend time with beautiful Cambodian children. They are very happy and loving, I love them so much. Being here makes me so grateful and appreciative of the life I live in Australia. 

-Hannah Fitzpatrick  

Cambodia – Day 5 

Today my group went to the orphanage, it was a really cool experience and it was good to meet some kids. Myself and Hannah went into the younger kids classroom, we went through the alphabet a couple times and they sung us some songs. Afterwards we went and did the Macarena, it was so hot in the dance room. In the afternoon we went back to World Of Hope and did some construction, I actually really enjoyed moving a bunch of rocks around. The other group taught the children to brush their teeth , wash their hands and did craft and music activities .I also got to go to Gloria Jeans, twice, it’s my favourite coffee shop at home and it was nice to go there whilst we are here. -Brianna Dewar

Yesterday my group visited the orphanage so today our group went back to doing construction and teaching at the school. This morning, and this afternoon, I did construction. It was very tiring and I ruined my nails, but knowing that I was helping made me so happy that eventually I didn’t mind. Being here is such an incredible opportunity and every day is a brilliant experience, I almost don’t want to leave.
-Zoë Moulder

Today my group went to the orphanage and went into three groups English, dance and computing. In English they sing to them and the kids showed them how to count one to ten in Khmer. In dance they got showed how to do dances and the group showed them the Macarena and the nut bush. The computing group helped the students how to use Microsoft word and they showed us how to use Microsoft exl. At placement today , we donated all the goods Mr Attwell- Gill and his family donated to all the students , they loved their new outfits.

Brenton Maroz