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

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