This is Team Garuda group picture in Beng Mealea ruined temple near camp Beng Mealea. They traveled through Cambodia in four weeks, lived in the community camp and worked with local staffs to develop the community lives. Below is the students’ feedback right before the end of their trip.
When first travel to Cambodia back in July, I personally felt somewhat apprehensive about what I would gain from such an expedition, whether it was knowledge of the country’s history or improving my haggling skills in the night market of Siemreap City, in contrast to what I was able to give back to the country itself; whatever I could do to benefit the communities of Beng Mealea or Beng Pae, for example.
Having now finished my four week expedition here in Cambodia, I can say that what I received from my experience here is more equal to what I believe, that I was able to give back more than I ever would have thought. Whether it was the painting of a school wall, a digging of a termite mound or brick laying outside a pagoda, every thing truly felt as though we, as a group, were making a difference within Cambodia, which in turn made the overall expedition all the more rewarding.
If I’m going to be completely honest, I was a little nervous about going to Cambodia. A month away from home in a place which is nowhere like home was a daughnting fact to get my head around. But, I couldn’t of wished for a better twenty – eight days.
There are so many amazing people in Cambodia. The local people, the camp staffs and pretty much everyone you meet will have a beeming smile and say “Hello” even if they don’t know you. Life in the camps will be an un-forgetable experience. You can see, what an impact you are making on these people’s lives. Even if it is as simple as planting a tree, it shows the local farmers how to make good compost by using what they have. And, to be even just a small part of such a massive and ongoing project, is so fulfilling.
The trek was another thing that I was slightly worried about, but it was such an amazing adventure that I wanted to do again as soon as it had finished. Staying in a new place every night was so much fun. To think that people had opened up their houses to us, even for one night, was amazing as that would never happen back in the UK.
The R&R days were just as good as the project work days. Being able to find out about Cambodia’s history allowed me to understand why life for Cambodian people is the way that it is. Exploring the temples and mainly Angkor Wat was so good as they are all amazing and have their own little story about them.
Overall, going to Cambodia is an experience I will keep with me for the rest of my life. I wll share the last month of adventures with many people. And it is safe to say that I have caught the traveling bug.