A favorite memory of mine from A Cambodia Journey 2014 was shopping for donations at the markets of Phnom Penh as a team. This is a striking event because the experience embodies many facets of the journey.
We supported each other while utilizing skills, information and resources that we gained in preparation for this very activity. Each individual were challenged to barter and communicate with the locals using as much Khmer as they could while considering the cultural norms to gain the best deal possible for the kids we support (The Street Children’s Project). Not only that, the funds we used to make these purchases were 100% fund-raised by each of us prior to the trip.
In addition to supporting the kids, it was also an incredibly rewarding personal journey for us. Everyone experienced or were fueled by a combination, if not all of these factors among others: the pressure of speaking Khmer, the excitement of tasting new food, the trying humidity mixed with heat, the discomfort of jet-lag – not to mention the overwhelming task of processing all of these new experiences while completely exhausted and uncomfortable in a new environment.
Needless to say everyone put all of their effort and patience to this day. To that end, I would argue that this single challenge alone demonstrates pretty much most of the objectives of A Cambodia Journey. The passion in supporting the kids paired with the respect in experiencing the Khmer language and culture was undeniable.