A group of 13 students, along with Mr Sanders and Ms Menz were lucky enough to have the trip of a lifetime to Cambodia recently as an alternative to schoolies.
We had no idea what to expect and when we stepped off that plane it was a shock to us all. The hot weather hit us first, and before we knew it we were on the busy, bumpy, dangerous roads heading into Siem Reap. We spent one full day on our bikes riding around remote villages; it was eye opening seeing the way people lived. We visited a little school and played footy with the kids. Mr Sanders enjoyed scooting a bike 10kms back into Siem Reap after the chain had snapped in half.
After all the fundraising we did in Australia, we were able to donate a library to a school, which we spent 3 days helping build. We took in turns building and teaching the children. The girls were very creative in coming up with games to play with the students, and the boys enjoyed challenging the locals in some soccer matches. This was a challenge as they knew minimal English, but overall it was an amazing experience and definitely a highlight of the trip.
We all woke up one morning at 4am to see the sunrise over the beautiful temple of Angkor Wat. We spent the day being tourists, visiting different temples, shopping and using our great bartering skills.
We spent a day at a remote village. Here we were able to donate a solar panel and moonlights to the community and underwear and sarongs to the local women. The people were all so friendly and grateful. We enjoyed playing volleyball and footy with them. This day we were also lucky enough to spend an hour helping them harvest their rice crop. Everyone got in and had a go and the locals loved watching and laughing at our skills.
On our last day we visited S21 Prison and the killing fields. This was a massive confronting experience and it gave us all an insight into the Pol Pot Regime and the millions of people who died during this time.
Our time in Cambodia went so quickly, it was such an amazing trip. Seeing the way they live compared to Australia was an eye opener to us all, and has made us realise how privileged we are. We had an awesome time and have made some great memories shared with the amazing group of people we went with. On behalf of all the students that went on the trip, we would like to say a huge thankyou to Mr Sanders, Ms Menz and also Ms Gould for all the time spent organising the trip, it really was a life changing experience for us all. Thanks.
– Tessa Mellington and Greta Pearson