Greetings from Cambodia,
Although my time in Pailin was relatively short, the lessons I learnt during my time there will stay with me forever. Brother Max’s presentation about building bridges codified, for me, the mission of the Marist Brothers and allowed me to realise what my mission in Pailin is. A memory that will stay with me is seeing all the faces of the children we taught, you could see it in their eyes and in their smiles that there was no hate, only love. This is something that we can incorporate into our own lives, being full of love, not hate and loving those people that get on your nerves. Hearing the story of the women who lost her son, she said something that really struck me, “They [the government] don’t care about you, if you are poor.” Hearing this opened my eyes to the reality for many people in Cambodia, because they do not have enough money, they are unable to pay for many things that we in Australia take for granted.
Arriving in Phnom Penh, I was amazed at the contrast between Pailin and Phnom Penh. There was more traffic, more buildings that were larger and taller, more people and a more fast paced environment. It really highlighted to the me the disparity between the haves and havenots.
We got to the hotel and dropped our stuff off before meeting with Bunna and his Tuk Tuk squad. Bunna took us on a quick tour around Phnom Penh showing us the sights, they were so beautiful and majestic.
Sister Helene spoke to us about the work she does for victims of human trafficking. Some of the stories that she shared with us were very emotional and awoke us to the fact that everyday, people are illegally passed into countries and forced to work as prostitutes. Sister also told us about the work she and her organisation does in finding girls, who have been trafficked, a job and give them skills and an education that makes sure that they are able to live a better life. After listening to Sister we were all inspired to do more to make sure that Sister's great work can continue.
Today was an awesome, inspiring, saddening and full-on day. We are on the final stretch and all miss you are terribly. I am sure it will be bittersweet for everyone to leave Cambodia.
Because I know you want to know Mum we have had...
- Tarantula (Luca B, Luca M and Liam had them)
Everything that I have eaten is written down so you can see the delicious food I have had.
Dad, Happy 50th Birthday!! I hope had a great day and the Korean BBQ didn't mess with Stu too much.
Charli, give Josie more pats for me. Every time I see a dog, it is torture because I know I am not able to pat them.
We miss everyone so very much, and we love listening to your replies every day.
See you soon!!