Hello parents, friends, family & neighborhood cats!
Thank you for switching over to our village blog for the week. My apologies for your refresh button; I know there has been some anxieties over the next post and pictures. While we were with the ellies there was a mishap with my laptop, the heat and internet. But no worries, because we are back in action.
Yesterday we said goodbye to Say and Dew, our two leaders at the elephant sanctuary, along with the remarkable women who prepared all of our meals for us and danced to Beyonce with us when we had some down time.
For the remainder of the trip we will be spending time in Siem Reap. When we arrived we were greeted by our resident expert Bun, who is from Cambodia. He will be guiding us, giving us the ins and outs of Siem Reap for the week.
During our tour of the city, we stopped by a Buddhist temple. Buddhism is the most practiced religion here in Cambodia. Traditional monks were the orange cloths, while Buddhist nuns wear white. After our tour of the city, we grabbed some dinner and then spent the night at the Night Market where you can get anything and everything! From tank tops, bracelets, to canvas paintings, the only shortage in the markets was is in our wallets!
Our project here in Siem Reap is to help out in Kro Bei Riel Village. Here we will be doing a variety of things such as teaching at the school, helping build a vocational school and even repairing homes within the village. But before we got started, we were first introduced to Sambath, the man who has made the large majority of this happen. Sambath, gave us a brief introduction of his life and his reasoning behind wanting to create a space that fostered the idea of doing good within not just our personal community but our world community.
He kept referring to John Lennon’s song, “Imagine,” and how at one point he felt that maybe he was the only dreamer in this world tainted by violence and greed. However, as his work within the village and school began to take off he realized that there are many hearts who have the same dreamer’s disease that he does- and we are part of that group. (In the picture below Sambath is the one with the bright smile in the blue shirt! This picture was taken after volunteers from the village sang “Imagine,” to us – yes there were a few tears.)
After our introduction and tour of the KBRV we were ready to make magic happen. Since we are beaming in numbers (over 20 volunteers!) we divided into two groups. The first group continued work on the new vocational school where they will be teaching hospitality and farming.
While the other group was introduced to a family in the village who needed their house repaired. The house was chosen based off a number of reasons, but best part is that it is a student of the school in which we are helping repair her house (her parents are shown in the picture below with our volunteers and village volunteers who are excited to patch up the house and make it better)!
We are antsy about the rest of the week, finishing these projects and being able to get to know the village even better.
Tonight, the words and story of Sambath’s life will weigh on our shoulders as we continue to take in every experience. Some of us have the dreamer’s disease, as I like to call it. We are determined to make a difference in the world community. Today we had the realization that the same dream lives among many people in many different countries. And this week, we get to unite to not only make a difference but to make the dreamer’s disease come alive.