Postcards, volunteering, and Cambodia
I write this to you from the amazing town of Siem Reap in Cambodia and I have to say I have completely fallen in love with this place.
It’s crazy hot and despite choosing the worst time of year to volunteer on a farm I have totally fallen in love.
It’s been a pretty busy time here in Siem Reap and as a result my updates have taken a bit of backseat.
I am now in my second week of volunteering for a wonderful children’s charity called the Green Gecko project. Im going to talk more about that and the amazing woman who set it up in a separate update but it’s a wonderful organisation that helps keep kids off the streets of Siem Reap.
My volunteering involves working on a farm that grows food to help feed the children and in the afternoons I assist an amazing guy called Matthew teach the kids English.
The kids are amazing and such fun to be around. I particularly love working on the farm though. I thought it would be the other way around. It’s pretty hard work and my hands are covered in blisters but I love being outside, the guys are great and I love seeing the results of the work we’re doing in a physical form. Maybe I’ll take up building when I get home!
I have been completely overwhelmed by those of you that have asked for a postcard. I love reading your messages and I can relate to pretty much everything you all mention in them. I found myself getting quite emotional when reading them the other day because I know exactly what you are going through. I feel incredibly honoured that you have chosen shared your life experiences with me. I hope you like your postcards and I hope they put a big smile on your face even if just for 10 seconds of your day. Please know that the guy who wrote them knows exactly what you are going through and if there is hope for him then there is hope for us all. (Not entirely sure why I’m referring to myself in the third person there but rather than delete it I thought I would write this entire new sentence instead!…..the heat is clearly getting to me).
Any free time I have is spent writing these and I love it. Today I got up at 7 and headed to a little coffee shop where I wrote a couple before work. It was really lovely and I think I’ll add this to my daily routine. I never imagined missing routine so much.
The Cambodian people are one of the friendliest nations I have visited so far. For a country that has been through hell and to be the type of people they are is just incredible. Saying that makes me realise that you guys also encapsulate this wonderful way of living as well after dealing with traumatic times.
They are such friendly and welcoming people.
Zoe’s lovely Australian friend Beck is kindly letting me stay at her apartment. I almost wet myself when she showed me to my own room which had en suit! For a midnight weeer this is the dream! She is great fun and a big fan of cooking and movie nights so she may never get rid of me!
Best of all though, being here means I get to hang out with my little cousin Zoe. Zoe and her husband Charlie have lived in Siem Reap for the best part of a decade and they run the best bar/restaurant in town…’Charlie’s!’ True story!:) I’d love to say that I only go there for lunch because it means I get to see them but the truth is their food is really good! Sorry guys.
This is the first time I’ve ever met Charlie as I missed both their weddings due to my travels. He is a great guy with a heart of gold and it is wonderful to spend time with them both.
So I have a lovely little routine going here and I must say I’m loving having this kind of structure to my days. The last couple of months I have felt so stressed about life after this trip but being here has calmed me down so much. I love the work, I love writing the postcards, I’ve made some great friends and I’m sleeping like a baby. I’ve missed this.
If I didn’t feel like such a sweaty mess all the time I’d safely say this is perfect (see worst selfie ever for proof of this).
Cambodia is defiantly a place you should visit!
I’ll be updating you soon with tales and photographs of standing toe to toe with the Terracotta Army in China, watching the sunrise over Angkor Wat and best of all about telling you all about the incredible people I’ve met who are doing amazing things for children in need of help. There are a lot of good people out there!
If any of you would like volunteering ideas for yourself or for anyone you know then please visit www.greengeckoproject.org for more details. I promise you would love this place!