AndrewJones' Travel Journals

AndrewJones

  • From United Kingdom
  • Currently in Cambodia

Living & Volunteering in Siem Reap

I gave up my job at the end of March 2015 and in a few weeks time I'm Cambodia bound, volunteering for 12 weeks for a community project in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Either I've taken leave of my senses or I'm following a path to...er....enlightenment? Or somewhere between the two? This journal is about my trip

Volunteering Over

Cambodia Cambodia  |  Sep 22, 2015
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 Changes, what changes? 

This is just a short note really to say that it's now almost 2 weeks since I finished volunteering at Salariin Kampuchea School on the outskirts of Siem Reap. I'm still in Cambodia, having travelled to Kampot, which is a picturesque town close to the coast, and my intention is to continue travelling in Cambodia and then on to Thailand, before returning to the UK in a month or two's time.

I don't really think I'll know how and in what way this period of volunteering with the SK school has influenced my outlook and my priorities until I return to Wales, because I think it will take time to sink in, but I know instinctively that it has had an effect. I'd never really previously travelled solo and it did take a week or two for me to 'find my feet' and to realise where my strengths lay when it came to the volunteering I was doing, but the staff at the school made it easy for me to make progress, so a big thankyou to Ravy, Pitou, Tep, Sey, David, Navy and Puth, and also to the two other volunteers who overlapped with part of my time at the school, Marcin and Marianna. Also the many SK students, who were a delightful group of children and young people to work with. I very much hope that the school goes from strength to strength.

I was also fortunate to have been based at a really great hotel/guesthouse in Siem Reap where everyone was friendly and there were other volunteers, which I think makes a big difference. It's also important to have an organisation there locally who are available if you need advice, which was the case with Interweave/ConCERT.

I'm not a seasoned traveller by any means and I've left it relatively late in life to have made the decision to travel and volunteer abroad, and don't assume that I did this without a considerable amount of uncertainty and doubt (ask my brother and sister-in-law!). But I'm really pleased I did overcome my doubts, and I would say give it a go if you feel restless or need to satisfy some underlying longing (if that's the right word!) and have a chat with Kaya.

So I'm signing off this final blog/journal with a few pictures of Kampot and the surrounding area. It's still lovely and warm here, incidentally!

Cheers

Andrew

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Tips

  • If you're given a bicycle as part of your volunteering, customise it, then you can find it amongst all the other very similar looking bicycles in Siem Reap.

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