Tour Updates

Day 10: Pailin - Stephen Carpinteri

Picture of Sarah Carmody
Day 10: Pailin - Stephen Carpinteri
by Sarah Carmody - Thursday, 12 December 2019, 1:52 AM

Today was our last full day of both teaching and being in Pailin. Most of us started the day at 6:30 am, although many of us were woken early to the blaring sound of a Buddhist celebration happening nearby to the hotel. After breakfast we travelled to a village school in outer Pailin, which was very much different to the Marist school we have become used to. At break time, we were trying to tell the kids to come and play but they did not move until they were told in Khmer, which resulted in a stampede of children running towards us. Many of the children were playing soccer where I was the goalkeeper trying to defend the 30 balls coming towards me. It was a great experience as, although their English was limited, we were still able to develop relationships and communicate with each other through body and facial expression.

We then headed back for lunch to the Marist school, then taught our next class. Most of us boys had very limited energy before the class, although when teaching, talking and dancing with the children in class, the hype quickly returns.

At the end of the day we went out for dinner with the Brothers, Fr Carlos and the teachers to share a last meal together. We expressed our appreciation to them and acknowledged the part they have played in our development over the immersion.

This immersion has been such a great experience for me, as I have really felt I have developed personally. This being my first time overseas, it has been a really interesting and eye-opening encounter as I have never experienced anything like this before. The way the locals are so willing say ‘hello’ to you when walking in the street or when their face lights up when you say ‘hello’ is something which really stands out. Both I and many of the other boys have noticed the way I have ‘come out of my shell’ whilst being here and not afraid of expressing who I really am. Through this development I have built some very positive and deep relationships with some of the boys I would not usually have experienced. This newfound confidence is something a feel I can take back from this experience and use in my life.

Picture of Sarah Pyle
Re: Day 10: Pailin - Stephen Carpinteri
by Sarah Pyle - Thursday, 12 December 2019, 8:32 AM

Good Morning Pilgrims, 

As I read your blog Stephen it was wonderful to hear not only how you have worked in the lives of people of the Pailin community but how they have impacted yours.  I am sure this will continue over your last few days of the immersion and you may not realise the full impact of all you have seen until you come back and have a chance to breathe and reflect.

I pray that all the pilgrims have allowed themselves the time to begin to process the experiences, the sights, the sounds and the people and what that all means for them on their journey.

You have worked with some amazing Marist brothers and you have seen the Marist charism in action - think about how you take the spirit of the immersion home with you as you return to your life in Australia.  Take care of each other in the last few days and allow yourselves time to soak it all in - especially in Phnom Penh which can be a bit hectic. 

I am looking forward to catching up with you all next year and hearing the stories.

Go gently, 

Ms Pyle

Picture of Pauline Bellofiore
Re: Day 10: Pailin - Stephen Carpinteri
by Pauline Bellofiore - Thursday, 12 December 2019, 8:38 AM

Hello Stephen and Pilgrims,

It must be sad to know that you have to leave Pailin, but the impact you have had is immense!  Keep that in your thoughts.

I'm sure the Fr Carlos, the teachers and all the Marist Brothers are so appreciative of all you have done.

I'm pleased to hear a common theme amongst the group (from the posts) that a number of our pilgrims have grown in self confidence over their time away.  It is often when we place ourselves out of our comfort zone that we learn the most about ourselves and others and what we can actually achieve.  Good on you all for acknowledging this growth.  The important thing will be to continue in this way when you return home.  Not many adults are good at putting themselves out of their comfort zones so you have all done well.

Safe travels,

Ms B

Picture of Terry Meehan
Re: Day 10: Pailin - Stephen Carpinteri
by Terry Meehan - Thursday, 12 December 2019, 9:05 AM

Hi Pilgrims, 

Stephen, your description of your personal growth throughout the immersion sounds like you’re really going to miss all the connections you have made with the Cambodian people (especially the children).

Waking up to a blaring Buddhist celebration would have been annoying but also something that you may never experience again so embrace that memory too.

It’s not long now till we see you all again so enjoy every last minute of the experience.

Sarah xxoo 

Picture of David Evans
Re: Day 10: Pailin - Stephen Carpinteri
by David Evans - Thursday, 12 December 2019, 9:57 AM

Hi Stephen and all Pilgrims

As with all the daily reflections, thanks for your great descriptions and observations. Stephen, what a time you've had for your first trip overseas! It's great to hear of your newfound confidence.

As you say goodbye to Pailin, no doubt you leave with a tinge of sadness, but also with a lot of warmth in your hearts and very fond memories.

The smiles, enthusiasm and selflessness of the children, and others in the communities, will make you feel the power and significance of the efforts and contributions you and the other Pilgrims have made. 

The wonderful donations made to the Phnom Priel Primary School on the back of funds raised at Winters Warmers will also demonstrate to the Marcellin community how their contributions have made an impact and reward all those cold, early morning starts!

We hope you enjoy the final leg of your trip and add some more lifetime memories.

All families will no doubt be looking forward to their Pilgrim's return and to hear all about the trip.

- David Evans

Picture of Cecilia Carpinteri
Re: Day 10: Pailin - Stephen Carpinteri
by Cecilia Carpinteri - Thursday, 12 December 2019, 2:00 PM

Hi Pilgrims,

It was wonderful to hear from you Stephen. We loved hearing about the sights and sounds of your last day in Pailin. It sounds like you have all sharpened up your soccer and dancing skills. We are very proud of you all and glad you have noticed your own personal growth and that of your fellow pilgrims.

Enjoy the last leg of your Immersion, we look forward to hearing your stories.

See you all soon. Take care.

The Carpinteri Family