” The purpose of this trip is to give myself an opportunity to see the world in a different perspective. I wanted to be there and see it with my own eyes how the people live. I wanted to learn and understand more about Cambodia’s struggle and culture.
My first initial reaction when I arrived in Cambodia was “Wow, I have step foot into a whole different world”. At that moment, I just felt very grateful for the things I have and not taken anything for granted. The people here live a different life, the necessities are so different from the states. I was also deeply saddened and disturbed to see how much the country struggles with corruption and poverty.
I’ve learned so much about Cambodia. I got the chance to gain more knowledge about the history of Cambodia, the Khmer Rouge and how atrocious it was. It really showed me the reality of the country that it is still hurt from decades of blood war and genocide. I also learned the reasons why thousands of children are begging on the streets. They are not able to continue their schooling due to unfortunate circumstances such as affordability even though public schools are free.
Toul Slaeng will be deeply ingrained in me forever. That day was very emotional and difficult. Every picture I saw really breaks my heart. I just believe that such cruel and evil act was bestowed upon other human beings. No matter what ethnicity, religion, and culture we are from, we are all still human. Blood and Flesh.
Yes I do have plans to continue to work with vulnerable kids. I realize I want to gain skills and learn more about the children’s and the people there. I want to return one day to work with the kids again through education and health awareness. I will keep supporting the YMCA of Greater Long beach to expand this project and let the world know we can all make a difference but first we have to learn about what they really need and how we can really help. I will continue to tell my story to everyone around me and bring more awareness about the community in Cambodia. I truly believe that the best way to raise awareness. ”
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