I am grateful that I get to return to Cambodia for the second time this December, and for three weeks this time. I had the chance to plan different programs in many villages around the outskirts of Battambang and also to receive warm welcome from all the people I met throughout my trip in Cambodia.

If I had to mention the most important thing that I’ve learnt during this trip, it is the joy of sharing. This phrase had always sounded cliché to me before this, but it really means something to me now.

We should never be selfish on the smiles and warm gestures that we can give to others because what we get in return for these simple acts will exceed our expectations.

At the beginning, I hesitated to give all I had because I wondered if I could really make a change. Then, I arrived in Rukdul Village and Richduangkeou Village to carry out sanitary workshops on the first week. It was very challenging to instill the mindset of cleanliness and hygiene in the children’s minds but I am thankful that I was given the chance to be a part of their changes. I realized that I should do my best in helping people, and it will be worth it even if my actions only get to influence one of them positively.

Cambodia is such a beautiful country with views that I would not trade anything for. From the night sky full of stars to the strong winds amidst the paddy fields, I witnessed the beauty of nature and rural life. Of course, after the overnight stay in Srawlao Chruom Village, I also recognize the power of mosquitoes and bugs that will not give up any opportunity to give me a kiss (Cries).

Not only that the country is beautiful, the people in Battambang also painted the country with hopeful colours with their desire to learn. Throughout this trip, I had the opportunity to teach English in LOHI and also in lovely Don Maey Village. The students are always very concentrated in class. They deeply understand the importance of education and also treasure the chances that they are given. Especially in Don Maey, the road to the literacy center is bumpy and long but that does not stop them from going to school every school day. I admire the students’ determination and will take that spirit back for my studies too.

I will forever remember the relationships built with the teachers and students throughout this trip, including our Khmer language lessons and airport adventures. I am optimistic that a foreign person’s visit to the locals’ lives will open up their eyes on life beyond the country and make them believe that they deserve a brighter future.

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