The day begun early. Having slept a mere 2 hours the night before, I perform a last check before heading over to meet my friends before heading to the airport. Upon reaching the airport, we gathered and helped to load off boxes from a HQ vehicle. These boxes contained gifts and donations for our cambodian counterparts. Each box weighs over 5kg and it had to be attached to everyone's check in luggage. Soon, we checked in and went about photo-taking, a scout ceremony and a pre-trip briefing
Our flight was Jetstar 3K 593 from C26, the damn end of Terminal 1 Departure Hall. Seriously, the damn end. Once we're in, before long, it was time to head into the gate. 20 minutes later, boarding begun and we boarded the flight to Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Before I start telling you more about what am I doing in Cambodia again, let me tell you why am I there. I am there as a Rover Scout Participant for Project Sunshine. Project Sunshine is a goodwill community service learning project aimed to help rebuild and kindle friendships between Singapore Scouts, Cambodian Scouts and Orphans at the Enfant D'Asie APESCA Children's Home in Takeo Province, Cambodia. Undertaking the role of the overall media and In-charge of Food & Beverage, I held a role to help ensure that our people and everyone remain happy and full after every meal. Design wise, I completed all aspects regarding the Project before the actual trip. The collaterals I completed include the design and fabrication of the event badge, banner and posters to aid promotion and fundraising of the event.
A couple of hours later, we landed in Phnom Penh and was greeted by Cambodian Scouts. From there, I purchased my SIM cards with Cellcard for just USD $3 for at least 3GB for mobile data. Before long, we boarded the bus and we were driven to Takeo Province, a 2 hours ride away. During the ride, I got to know Heng, a rover scout. Being his first time in this project, he was excited and wanted to do something to make a difference in the project. It was great knowing him. During the ride, I got to know that he was studying Law at a local university.
During the ride, Cambodian Scouts (CS) and Singapore Scouts (SS) sang and danced to the tune of Cambodian pop music and classic english songs. After a long ride, we finally reached Takeo Province and were greeted by ASPECA's Orphanage children. Next, we were brought to our living quarters, located near the kitchen.
Living in Takeo Province, living conditions were largely different than city ones. Our beds were large metal beds with a straw mattress laid beneath for comfort. Ventilation was A-OK as my bed was located just beside the window. The room held about 10 males and had just one power socket but enough lighting for the night. Toilets were dark, manual and a water well was available within the toilet without any flushing system. Overall, the first look at our 'resort' was going just right for me. One should never expect too much from back country living quarters.
Soon, dinner was served at 7pm. It was beef stew with deep fried chicken, plain rice and bananas. Bananas were so special as black seeds were embedded within the fruit. The perfect combination of beef, spices and vegetables made the soup a delicious soup of a kind. During dinner, we somewhat realize that the food provided was a little too much. When we were done, the leftovers were passed to the chefs at the back - which I found it to be weird. Shouldn't they eat with us?
After dinner, we met up at the library where music was playing and the orphanage's children were dancing. Martyn joined in the dance and carried on dancing with the kids. Soon, we had ice breaker games and got to know the Project Sunshine team well.
The night ended with a daily After-action Review (AAR). An eventful day indeed.
Project Sunshine is a Goodwill Cultural Exchange & Community Service Learning Project organised by the Scouts (17-26 years old) of Singapore Scouts Association and Cambodia Scouts
Welcome to the blogroll for Project Sunshine 17'. Scroll down to hit the Flashback for a time travel down, or simply scroll. For the trip album, click here
© 2017 BrenchTravels
All Rights Reserved.
22-29 March 2017
Enfant D'Asie Orphanage at Takeo Province, Cambodia