Tour Updates

Day 9: Pailin - Daniel Reid

Picture of Sarah Carmody
Day 9: Pailin - Daniel Reid
by Sarah Carmody - Tuesday, 10 December 2019, 7:20 PM

Today started off as per usual with a 6:45am wakeup and delicious breakfast of pastries and pancakes from Brother Francis. As today was a public holiday here in Cambodia (International Human Rights Day), we had the day off from teaching, however we were put to work around the school cleaning up litter, moving furniture and other small jobs. I spent my morning replacing the tiling of the floor in some of the teachers’ bedrooms and kitchens. I was working with a man named Phan, who is a father of some of the children from the school. Despite speaking absolutely no English, he was able to teach me how to tile and concrete through his hand and body gestures. This is just one example of how we have been able to communicate with the children of the school and build such strong relationships with them, without needing to physically speak to one another.

We then travelled to the border of Thailand. As it is illegal to gamble in Thailand, they have built giant casinos right next to the border in Cambodia, this way the Thais can simply walk less then 100 metres across the border to play the slots and gamble all they like. These gigantic casinos in Pailin greatly contrasted the tiny houses or shacks that these poor, suffering people of Pailin call home.

Something that has also stood out for me across the whole trip, is how generous the people of Pailin are. Whenever the children have been given any food, they are quick to offer their siblings or friends half of it. The reason this has really gotten through to me is because although these people have so little, they are always more then willing to share with each other.

Picture of Terry Meehan
Re: Day 9: Pailin - Daniel Reid
by Terry Meehan - Wednesday, 11 December 2019, 9:37 AM

Hi Pilgrims,

Daniel, your detailed account about how you communicated with Phan is fantastic. It must be so satisfying to be able work together without words but still understand what needs to be done. 

The contrasts between the flashy casinos and the tranquility of the village would have been very eye opening and hard to understand. I find the differences between those who have and those who have not, hard to fathom but generally think that the less people have the more they are willing to give.

Keep up the great work you’re doing, we are all so proud of you all. :)

Sarah xxoo 

Picture of Janelle Reid
Re: Day 9: Pailin - Daniel Reid
by Janelle Reid - Wednesday, 11 December 2019, 9:46 AM

Hi Daniel & Pilgrims,

Thanks again for further insight of your immersion. Your description of the contrast from one border across to the other is very powerful, as is the way you describe such strong relationships being built between yourselves and your Cambodian friends despite the language barrier. 

We miss you all and hope you are well. 

The Reid Family.

Picture of Justin Griggs
Re: Day 9: Pailin - Daniel Reid
by Justin Griggs - Wednesday, 11 December 2019, 9:53 AM

Hi everyone, 

I hope you are all having a great time.  Reading your reflections brings back many memories from our trip in 2018. Daniel, your comment regarding the willingness of the Cambodians to share is something we can all learn from and something which we need to be regularly reminded of in our very comfortable lives in Australia. Luca B, your comments about being schooled on the soccer pitch made me laugh and remember how much I sweated on that pitch- much to the disgust of the other teachers I was with! Liam and Luca M, your comments about stepping out of your comfort zone reminded me of how nervous last years students were and how much they grew by just being willing to have go. I'm sure the same will be true for all of you. 

If my memory serves correctly you will soon be leaving for Phnom Penh. Be prepared that there will be some pretty eye-opening sites that you will visit here. I still get emotional thinking about the killing tree. 

Please pass on my best wishes to all the Brothers, especially Brother Francis. They may remember me as the guy who was always trying to speak French with them.

Good luck to you all and safe travels  

Mr Griggs

Picture of Carolyn Young
Re: Day 9: Pailin - Daniel Reid
by Carolyn Young - Wednesday, 11 December 2019, 12:42 PM

Thanks, Daniel, for another evocative description the experiences of the group! Once again we can imagine what you are doing and getting insights into the impact the immersion is having on how.

Tiling is hard work! I hope you have woken up feeling ok today! 

I think by the time you see this you will be in PP - I hope you all slept on the drive and have you in my prayers. No doubt you have left behind many people with special memories of how loved you made them feel. 

Kind regards,



Kellie Carbone
Re: Day 9: Pailin - Daniel Reid
by Kellie Carbone - Wednesday, 11 December 2019, 1:55 PM

Dear Daniel, Teachers and Pilgrims, 

Thank your for all your daily blogs and photos helping us to gain an insight. They have been truly special to read, thank you for taking the time to put so much depth into all your stories. You are all working extremely hard with jobs and teaching this week and must be so proud of yourselves. We have enjoyed looking seeing the big smiles of the children interacting with you. The Carbone Family xoxo

Picture of Pauline Bellofiore
Re: Day 9: Pailin - Daniel Reid
by Pauline Bellofiore - Thursday, 12 December 2019, 8:31 AM

Hello Daniel

Sounds like you now have some tiling and concreting skills you can perhaps put to good use at home in Melbourne! What a great post, with some wonderful insights.

It is amazing how as humans we really don't need language to communicate, when we get to the basics of connecting with each other.  It does make we wonder how little we notice, here in our comfortable lives in Australia, when we are speaking with others about their body language and facial expressions.  We can tend to be so focused on the actual words we are saying, when in fact if we stayed attuned to other nuances in what they are not actually saying with words, but with gestures, expressions and actions, how much more we could connect with each other.  When we take away language as a vehicle for communication, as you Pilgrims have had to do on occasion in Cambodia, it's incredible how much more you notice about the other person and how much you can still communicate, even without language!

Keep having a safe and amazing experience,

Ms B