HELLO TO ALL YOU BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE! In 4 days our first group of volunteers for the Cambodia Island and Scuba Diving/Marine Conservation Program lands in Phnom Penh and I’M SO EXCITED I CAN HARDLY STAND IT!!
Oh- please forgive me for being rude. My name is Michael, and I’ll be leading volunteers on the island of Koh Rong for the next month before heading back to Siem Reap. I’ve been lucky enough to see more of this world than I’ve ever dreamed and have developed a fine set of skills that include, but are not limited to: dancing far too often, eating entirely too much rice, laughing too loud, and getting caught in the most awkward and uncomfortable positions on long bus rides.
As a Team Leader, my job is to ensure that each volunteer has as much F-U-N as possible while completing some of the most amazing and inspirational projects I’ve ever worked on– and all the while, making sure the safety and well-being of everyone on program is at the forefront of our minds and actions.
Each group of volunteers on this program will undertake two projects simultaneously: one on land, and one in water. The former will consist of building vegetable gardens in the village. Every few months a doctor comes from the mainland and examines those living on the island; the biggest problem currently facing Koh Rong is malnutrition, especially with the youth. Creating these vegetable gardens will allow them a new source of food to supplement their usual diet and will help combat the rise in malnutrition.
The water project will build on the cumulative efforts of past volunteers to continue building one of the largest man-made coral reefs in the world! Volunteers will first train to receive their PADI international scuba diving certifications (say whaaat?!). Upon completion, they will build coral pods that they will then deploy themselves underwater to help build this man-made reef. In a few months time, coral will begin to grow on these reefs and re-create a marine habitat that was once destroyed by en-mass commercial fishing.
You can ALL follow us on our amazingly fun journey by keeping up with our blog! I’ll be sure to post every day with pictures, funny stories, and overall details of our adventures! Who knows, perhaps we’ll even have some of the volunteers chime in with their own words 😉
I’m so excited to get started!!! Now excuse me while I get mentally prepared for the most awesome experience of my life.