Sunday, 9 August 2015

Finding True Happiness in Cambodia

COUNTRY: Cambodia
PROJECT: Education and Teaching
WRITTEN BY: Divya Jamdagni

To sum up, teaching at PIO has been a life changing experience. After getting off the plane 4 weeks ago I never would have guessed what was waiting for me on this exciting journey. Being the first time I had been travelling, by myself, overseas this adventure has been greatly rewarding.

For a person travelling for the first time, alone, and to a country overseas, Antipodeans is definitely a rewarding and exhilarating opportunity. Not only to engage in a great international volunteering experience but also for personal growth. With trips where you are thrown into a situation with no other option but to adapt, the end result is eye-opening and full of memorable moments. These moments (if you’re as lucky as I have been) are shared memories with the other travellers in your group that you will never forget. Not only do you get to meet like-minded people with travellers wanderlust and a passion for volunteering, but also you will find a new group of friends who you probably never would have met if it hadn’t been for the Antipodeans program.

The group of 6 girls that I’ve gotten to meet and share stories with has definitely been a highlight for this trip. If it hadn’t been for them this program definitely would have lacked a particular element of fun that could only be made possible by the craziness of Balpreet, Isabelle, Julia, Nami and Sunny.

I’ve never felt so glad to have meshed so well with a group of girls in such a short period of time. Special shout out to my teaching partner Isabelle, couldn’t have asked for anyone better! Antipodeans has provided me with an international volunteer opportunity that has definitely let me learn so much about myself while also creating a new perspective from which I am able to view the world.

Just by watching and participating in simple school activities such as sports and life skills, I have gained a new appreciation as to what it means to live your life simply, savour every moment, and treasure what you have. The fact that the PIO school has emerged from a former dump site is astounding, the progress that they have made shows the dedication of the school and is definitely a motivator for volunteers to continue wanting to work with the children. The overflowing happiness of the children is also overwhelming.

The true happiness that radiates through them when they see you, learn something new or get something correct is absolutely worth every bad feeling of ‘funny tummy’ that you experience on your trip.
Despite some illness, mosquito bites and the constant question of “lady you want tuk-tuk” you are gifted the chance to see some spectacular sights and true happiness in the eyes of children who have so little but have so much to offer the world. Antipodeans has given me wonderful chance to broaden my horizons and I would definitely encourage others to grab onto this opportunity with both hands and never let go!

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