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My time in Cambodia has been amazing and I will miss it a lot. I will never forget it and I will be back soon!
When I arrived here I was really scared but everybody and everything made me feel like home. The Khmer project was one of the best months of my life and the monthly dinner dirty weekends were amazing!
You feel like family here and I will miss that a lot!
Cambodia is my second home and Projects Abroad and its staff is a lot of fun and helpful!
Leaving after this four month is hard and sad, but the thought of coming back next year makes me happy.
Thanks for everything and see you soon all :-)
On Saturday the 16th January, Lucile, Jim, Jo and other volunteers from CHA took the 70 children from the Cambodian Hope Association to the Peace Swimming Pool.... though it wasn't actually called that when we got there....
When we arrived at the orphanage, the kids were already packed away into 10 tuk tuks, with music playing, smiles galore and bouncing bodies raring to go! (Sorry 9 tuk tuks, the 10th was packed with 80 sandwiches and an abundance of fruit, lollies, juice and water!)
Half an hour later, we arrived at the pool, split into groups, but then realised that was unnecessary, as the two main areas were easy to cover with so many volunteers. The kids immediately got changed into their other clothes, very similar to their first set ... and then jumped in the pool, squealed down the slides and got pulled about by the flying fox.
About half way through the day the little ones had a nap on the benches! But, many played right through, with no stopping a part from scoffing down a sandwich, along with the rest of the food shoved into that one tuk tuk.
The slides seemed a little rickety and rusty, but I think the volunteers enjoyed it just as much as the kids as they splashed down, landing sideways into the water after the scarily fast ride.
At about 4 o'clock we took a group photo and the kids' weary faces told me it was finally time to go home after a 7 hour day! We packed up again, and left hoping we hadn't missed anyone in the toilet!
All the kids were so grateful, and I wouldn't be surprised if they were all dreaming about it as they slept soundly on the tuk tuk ride home.
A very successful day, sure to be remembered by the kids and the volunteers for many years to come!
My time spent in Cambodia is something that was so eye opening, so breath taking, and amazing that I will never ever forget it. My original plan was to stay with P.A for a month and then travel with my family for another months then go home. Did that happen? No, Ha Ha. I stayed for about 6 months in total in the end. I kept extending and staying longer - I did not want to leave and was hoping I would never have to go home. In the end, I needed to be home for the holidays and to apply for school. I will go back in a few months because it’s so great.
While I was there, I did the Khmer project for a month. We did so many activities. I slightly felt like a tourist sometimes but it was a good introductory to Cambodia. You get to learn about the art, culture and history of Cambodia and get to see the real beauty of the country. You travel inside and outside of the Phnom Penh and get a taste of different places. For the rest of my time, I did care and teaching with children. I really fell in love with every single child. They are so sweet and each is unique. They really want to learn unlike most children back here at home. They all just need attention and love - to be hugged and played with. I signed up to be involved with “dirty weekend” activities at other schools or orphanages. You would go and clean or help out a placement in need of help. I would sometimes travel on the weekends to outside of the city like Siem Reap but mostly Sihanoukville because I love the beaches. The sand is so soft, skies so blue and the air smells salty. Definitely take some time to travel to the islands because they are the most beautiful thing I’ve seen ever. People would probably pay thousands to go to some beach resort when you can go to these islands that are more private and wild at a much lower price. Cambodia is in need of volunteers and is an amazing country to be in - full of big smiles, big hearts and yummy food.
Welcome to our three interns who have worked for Projects Abroad in Cambodia since 03-January-2011.
Please read a briefly information background from them as below:
Hi everybody, I am LY Chetra, I was born in Cheukach village, Cheukach commune, Baphnom district, Prey Veng province. Nowadays, I am currently staying in Phnom Penh. I’m a year III student, pursuing English literature at University of Cambodia (UC) where I have passed scholarship award by the year 2008. Along with studying, I got experiences on volunteering, at Youth Resource Development Program (YRDP), I and our members have created a club which is called New Hope for Youth (NHY) since 2009; we had successfully completed two projects at remote area in Cambodia. Moreover, I used to be writer and research as volunteer student at above organization. Beside these, I had worked for NGOs forum for one month. At the moment,
I am joining with Project Abroad as an Intern, because I have a will to work for NGO so that I can serve my Cambodian people and me as well. According to my volunteering and internship experiences so far are related to
NGO working and research I may say I will possibly to have a permanent job with organization in term of staff. I hope that Projects Abroad will provide me.
My name is Suon Kanika, I was born in 1989 now I am 21 years old. I have only one sister and I am the oldest child in the family. My father name Suon Sothoeun. He is a Deputy Director Engineer of Animal Health and Production, Ph.D in Veterinary Sciences. He is also a Professor of Animal Health and Producti
on Royal Academy of Cambodia. My mother name Sem Sophaly. She is a housewife, she does not work but she takes a good care in the family. My sister is studying at Sisova
For my educational background, I am a fresh graduate student from Royal university of Law and Economic, majoring Economic in the skill Management Enterprise.
Beside graduate from RULE University, I am a 4th year student of Pannasastra University of Cambodia majoring Finance and Banking also. I ha
d been complete a short course of General Account at Vannda Institute too. For the computer knowledge, I also complete the course Microsoft word and Excel at PUC. I got a Diploma of Intensive English Academic Program (IE
AP) at PUC also. When I studied in high school, I used to study France for 3 year but after I start study in the university I was quite the France school so now I completely forget it. I can only read n can talk a little bit. Now I realize that France language is also important when we are finding a job, I feel regret about my decision that quite to study this language.
The purpose that I have apply to work as an Internship at Project Abroad because Project abroad is offering an excellent opportunity for an intern to gain skills and experience. Moreover, the intern will be trained, supervised and mentored by the senior staff members. I think that, during the working time as an intern here I can learn more about how to communicate with the foreigner and also can know about culture them too, especially I can improve my English skill directly with the foreigner that come from any different countries in the world. Because all of this reason that make me decide to apply a job at Project Abroad. Finally, I hope that after being as an Internship at Project Abroad I will be select as a senior staff in this Organization. I will try to learn and will do all my best to pass this opportunity.
My name is CHRAING MEK, 26 years old, Cambodian nationality. I come from Prey Veng Province, Cambodia. I have graduated Bachelor of Private law at University of Law and Economics since 2008 and also Bachelor of Comparative Law at French Cooperation (Université Lumière Lyon 2 de l’Etat Français, Licence en Droit, mention Droit Comparé with the Royal University of Law and Economics) in Phnom Penh of Cambodia where I have studies both national and international laws.
After graduated, I used to volunteer as Legal Assistant at Cambodian Coalition Apparel Workers for Democratic Union (C.CAWDU) in Cambodia for nearly six months in the file of workers ‘rights with the human activities. In addition, I also worked as the mathematics volunteer teacher at Buddhist Primary School of Phnom Penh for two years. Sofar, I am working as pasrt time Teacher at private school in Phnom Penh where I provide the English and French course to the adult students. I am willing to work as Internship at Projects Abroad for 3 months starting from 03 January 2011 to 03 April 2011. As internship roles, I am prepared to work hard in using my ability and my knowledge following a schedule that will be assigned by Projects Abroad. I hope that I will learn something new in which I have never known before and also gain the job experience in the social affairs. Because I will not only meet the different people come from around the world that permits me to practice my both second language (French and English) with them but also get to know about their different cultures and technical works both inside and outside of an office of Projects Abroad (neither at the work place nor at the placement of volunteers).
Hi I'm Adele; I'm from Melbourne, Australia and recently undertook one month's volunteer work in Cambodia with Projects Abroad. And what an experience it was. On arrival in Phnom Penh I was made to feel very comfortable by the staff and other volunteers. Whilst it was a little confronting at first meeting so many new people, it only took me a day or so to settle in. One of the great things about Projects Abroad is that they give you an induction the day after you arrive. Sophan, one of the happiest, nicest people you will ever meet, gave me a tour of the city, taught me about the Cambodian culture and way of life, and took me to visit my orphanage which was to
be my home for the next month. I undertook my CARE placement at Sacrifice Families and Orphan's Development Association (SFODA). I must admit that day 1 at the orphanage was quite a shock, with so many children wanting to hug you and hold your hands, and having to stand up in front of all these children and teach an English class. However, by day 2 I was feeling right at home, thanks to the staff who were all really helpful and of course the children. The children at the orphanage were by far the highlight of my trip. There is no better feeling than to walk in the gates every morning and see their eyes light up with excitement and all run over to say hello. Whilst I loved all of the children, I did form a special relationship with one little boy called Sambath, who was just the most adorable little boy. There is not a day since I have left Cambodia that I have not thought of these kids. My Cambodia experience went well beyond the orphanage experience. Each weekend the volunteers would plan trips to places such as Siem Riep, Kampot, Kep, and Sihanoukville. It was really nice being able to visit such amazing places whilst also undertaking the volunteer experience. For all who decide to travel to Cambodia, Siem Reap and the Temples of Angkor are an absolute must. They
were amazing. I have done the relaxation holidays before, laying on the beach sipping cocktails, but after completing my volunteer placement, I couldn't think of a better way to travel overseas. I got to see a lot of Cambodia, experience the poverty and disadvantage that countries such as Cambodia face, meet a heap of wonderful volunteers and staff, and best of all, meet 40 of the most amazing, happy children. I highly recommend coming to Cambodia, and am currently planning my next trip. If you do decide to come to Cambodia, bring lots and lots of stickers, balloons and bubbles. The children will love you!
I have so many wonderful memories from Cambodia and look forward to seeing everyone again soon!
Guess who are they? They are not Cambodian but they are currently in Cambodia for voluntary work. They are now really like and love to work at the placement and so happy to take care of the kids at the orphanage.
However, here they are required to work only from Monday to Friday, so the weekend is time for exploring the new things and activities. Besides having a trip to some wonderful place in Cambodia, they have decided to stay in Phnom Penh - Capital of Cambodia, and going to Royal Palace, S-21, National museum and going to a photo shop for taking a Traditional Photo style. Guess, how much they paid? It was 3 US dollars per shoot.
Not so expensive, so please try to take it one while you are in Cambodia.
It was full of fun as they have never experience it before:-).
Greg and I arrived in Phnom Penh in early October to start our 3 months Care placement at Unacas ( also known as Meak Chheur Centre). We quickly settled into a routine at the the Centre which provides disadvantaged and orphaned children from the ages of 5 years to 23 years shelter, the opportunity to attend school and basic health care. We enjoyed playing soccer, marbles and elastics with the kids, took along jigsaws, balloons and art and craft supplies. Greg made a cricket bat out of scraps of wood and taught them to play cricket. He also, with the help of some of the children, repaired, sanded and painted the desks in the outdoor classroom. Some of the children were very outgoing and we got to know them quickly, others were more reserved and it was only after we had been there for 2 months that they started to seek us out and have a chat. We will miss their happy smiles, cuddles and the way they lived as one big family with 98 children, 9 mothers and 3 fathers. We gave the staff an English lesson for an hour in the afternoon, they in turn taught us some Khmer words, tried to teach us a Cambodian dance (we both have 2 left feet) and we helped them cut up the vegetables for the meals. Saying goodbye to the children and staff and our ever smiling driver Chea on our last day at Unacas was so hard, but we will be back to see them all again
in the near future.
We made the most of the public holidays which fell during our time in Cambodia by going away for long weekends to Siem Reap, Kep and Battambang. We also used our 2 weeks travel time to go to Stung Treng, Ban Lung, Kampot and because we loved it so much, back to Kep.
We went to Siem Reap on the express boat, this 6 hour trip on the Tonle sap River was very scenic with houses by the riverside, water hyacinths floating on the water, a floating village and the beautiful verdant green rice paddies along the way. The Angkor temples were indescribable - no words or pictures could do them justice, but we took lots of photos anyway.(Couldn't resist)
Our next long weekend was to Kep. This time we went on the bus,a 5 hour journey out of the city, through villages, rice paddies, past beautiful mountains and at last, our first glimpse of the ocean in 4 weeks. Being Australian coastal dwellers we start to go through withdrawal if we don't smell the ocean for any length of time. Having enjoyed 5 hours of music Dvds on the bus, we settled into our bungalow for a cold drink. Over the next few days we became regulars at one of the restaurants at the Crab Market, discovered Karam icecream (coconut is the best, but if you can't find it try mango, or any flavour really - they were all delicious), clim bed Kep mountain and went on the Salt and Pepper tour in a Tuk tuk.
Our third long weekend was to Battambang... more music DVDs on the bus, this time a Cambodian version of Hey Jude was a highlight. There we went on a tuk tuk tour which went to villages where rice paper, banana paper, fish paste, rice wine and really sharp kitchen knives are made. I am now the proud owner of a steel knife which cuts through steak like it's butter and it only cost 15000 Riel. The tour then took us to the Bamboo train, and afterwards to Phnom Sampeou where I had my first ride on the back of a motorbike. (Going up the very steep mountain, trying not to hang on too tight to the guide's shirt, I ended up closing my eyes and trusting him to get me there in one
piece) After that travelling on the back of a motorbike became a common form of transport for me as Greg hired a motorbike the very next day and away we went. We did not tell his Mum about that until we got home safely, even at 47 years of age your Mum still worries about such activities.
Weekends in Phnom Penh were spent going to the many must see places..... The Killing Fields and S21 were harrowing but educational, the National Museum full of beautiful artifacts, the markets addictive and the restaurants and cafes unbeatable. Often we went out with other volunteers who became firm friends and other times we just did our own thing as a couple. We also took part in the Dirty Weekend in October, helping to build a brick wall between the grounds at VCAS and the tip. Lissa and I declared that our rather uneven section of wall had "an organic feel".
One of the highlights of our 2 weeks travel time was a day trip from Ban Lung in Ratanakiri Province to visit the minority villages where the local religion is Animism. This was a particularly interesting tour, and I would recommend it to anyone who gets a chance to go. Another was climbing Bokor Mountain and seeing the Bokor Hill Station engulfed in fog. Returning to our placement for their Christmas Concert and seeing the smiles on the kids faces is also a cherished memory.
Apartment 3, the omelete and spring roll making evenings and movie nights were memorable. We also enjoyed eating our dinner in Apartment 1 and getting to know the volunteers in that apartment better too. It was great to be able to discuss things which had happened at our placement with other volunteers and get a second opinion on things. Also invaluable were tips on where to travel, bars and restaurants to visit and spontaneous outings to the icecream shop.
On Christmas Day volunteers and Projects Abroad staff got together to celebrate Christmas. The rooftop was decorated with lights, decorations and flowers, barbeques and iceboxes brought in and we enjoyed a feast. We had cheese and crackers, spring rolls, falafel, steak, beef stirfry, chicken wings, salads and chocolate mousse to name a few delicacies. Afterwards, the leftovers were donated to the kids at Riverkids. Christmas away from your family and loved ones can be hard, but we enjoyed spending it with our Projects Abroad family.
I am a little behind on packing. Okay, a lot behind. After months of planning and excitement, I feel that I am dragging my feet bit, finding it hard to tear my self away from the familiar. Leaving Dwight and my home feels daunting at the moment. I am trying to just accept the ambiguity of my feelings and just rest with them, instead of ignoring all of the tumult. If that doesn’t work, there is always Pernod!
I’ve been curious about se Asia for years, and am so
on my own for a few days, and then will take the 7 hour bus ride to Phnom Penh, where I will be volunteering at an orphanage for 4 weeks. I have a suitcase full of art supplies and kazoos that I hope will be useful in my new employ. I will be staying in an apartment with other volunteers while I am there. In addition to exploring Phnom Penh, I’d like to see Angkor Wat, the beaches, and some towns that make Khmer pottery.
The first task, however is getting out of town…