The Month of Voluntary Work

Travels — 4.3.2016

I started the month by coming to Cambodia and starting a five weeks period of voluntary work. I will be teaching English to the different age of kids, from 4 to 14 years old together with a local Khmer teacher.

I fell in love with this experience right from the start. The first feeling was pure love and excitement. Whattawowmoment it was! The taxi driver was there to pick me up from the airport, and we speeded down (he was just pressing the horn, and we were at the destination in one hour instead of two) to Takeo, the countryside town where I’m staying and teaching kids of the rural village. These kids come from poor backgrounds: their families can’t afford to pay for the education, so they come to learn English with me every day after their kindergarten or elementary school where they don’t get to study English.

I came here independently through two small and straightforward organizations: Maltese Right2Smile, who is cooperating with a local New Future’s Organization. I didn’t pay anything to do voluntary work. I think this is important – there’s no reason to charge for work that somebody is willing to do unselfishly. So my advice would be to find a similar hands-on organization to get the authentic experience if you are ever considering a voluntary work experience – which I highly suggest! Gives so much from the day one!

All the expenses I cover myself. Flights, accommodation and the meals I have. This is my devotion to Cambodian or Takeo’s children – it is my pleasure. And I seem to get so much out of it myself; I’m in my element here. It’s crazy how those smiley faces are the best feedback you could ever have. First times in my life I feel to be very important person and that my work is really meaningful to someone. And I get instant feedback on it; I get high fives, laughter, learned English words and most of all smiles. This country just doesn’t stop smiling.

Besides the bright kids and all the other smiling people here it is so wonderful what a magical feeling Cambodia or, at least, this countryside has. I feel so good here. This is a confirmation that I would love living in the countryside in a peaceful, pretty place without hurrying and where the life just is as it is. Where I could just create and take my time. So I am living the dream at the moment. I’ll keep you posted about my rural life, especially on Instagram! Here I allow myself to be a bit lazy now, I write just whenever I feel for that…

Everyday I bicycle 8 km.s to school and 8 km.s back
Everyday I bicycle 8 km.s to school and 8 km.s back
It's very hot, I always refill the big bottle of water! The locals also advised me to drink coconut water. They said - it keeps me chilled and hydrated - and smiled!
It’s very hot, I always refill the big bottle of water! The locals also advised me to drink coconut water. They said – it keeps me chilled and hydrated – and smiled!
Animals are just everywhere. Every now and then I have to slow down my pedalling since there are cows or chicks or what ever crossing the street. Love it, I call this life!
Animals are just everywhere. Every now and then I have to slow down my pedalling since there are cows or chicks or what ever crossing the street. Love it, I call this life!
I love the wet fields here in Cambodia, they are so pretty and full of violet waterlilies!!!
I love the wet fields here in Cambodia, they are so pretty and full of violet waterlilies!!!
There are pigs and all the possible farm animals strolling around the school. Sometimes we have to close the gate that they don't come in to the class room hah
There are pigs and all the possible farm animals strolling around the school. Sometimes we have to close the gate that they don’t come in to the class room hah
Mopeds are the scene here, don't see much cars
Mopeds are the scene here, don’t see much cars
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