” I chose to join this journey because I saw it as a way to reconnect with my culture and find out what my parents had gone through. When I first arrived in Cambodia, I was surprised at how hot it was and looking around seeing that the people around weren’t even sweating even when we were with the kids. All of us were basically drenched in sweat and the kids weren’t even sweating at all.
I’ve learned that the word poverty in Cambodia means something different from over here because there the word poverty means you’re living on the streets in a shack or something in the slums basically. Over here, poverty means you don’t have enough money for your basic necessities, but you still have a roof over your head and still have a place to live.
What I remember the most was the time we spent with the kids for three days because it was the cool bonding experience and hanging out with the kids. That was a lot of fun. Plus that entire day was fun, with the beach day, lunch with the kids, jet skis, and then we had a pool party with them. When we left them the second time was pretty emotional. I honestly did not want to leave them. I feel it would’ve been better to leave on a good note with them being happy we were there rather than being sad that we’re leaving.
I was just planning on coming back the following year and helping out with the kids again, but then I remember Sopheak saying that getting more people aware of the situation would get more people to help. I thought that was a really good idea. What I’ll do is to start getting more people aware and try to get them to do as much as they can to help out whether it’s by donating or actually going to Cambodia to help out personally.
This trip has opened up my eyes to what my parents had gone through. It has also given me more respect for my parents and who they are. I think how I’ll implement this into my life is to actually start treating them with the respect they deserve. I will also help them with the things they need help with whether they ask for help or not.”
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