... that's the feeling I get when I think of leaving Banlung City to take on Vietnam. My time here has been very salutary and I enjoyed every bit of it:
- I realized how lucky I am, being in good health. Which will be a lesson for the future to better take care of it and not wasting it
- I learned how constantly friendly, helping, welcoming and honest people create such a nice atmosphere. There shouldn't be a reason not to try to be "Cambodian" every day.
- I meet a lot a interesting people here and made some good friends who truly broadened my horizon
- I ate delicious new food and at the same time so healthy. It is so easy to create a healthy and delicious diet for a healthier life. Nevertheless I still appreciate a proper steak at "Wolfgangs" in NYC with some Canadian sizzling-honey bacon as a starter :-)
- I had time to focus on my exercise regime - which itself gave me a lot a time reflecting on myself (trust me running around a lake 4 times a week for a total of 4-5 hours gives you a lot of time to think :-))
- I learned a lot about the Cambodian/Khmer culture, about South-East Asia and how Vietnam, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia all are connected to each other.
- I certainly can now say after teaching in Ecuador and in Cambodia, that my patience level is not suitable for teaching and being a teacher will not be an option for me in the future. At the same time my respect for teachers has grown immensely (though I still think German teachers get to much time off :-P)
- I am truly thankful that I was given the opportunity to help some people here on the ground and make a change to their life. To give you an overview of what we achieved over the past 3 months:
- We got a staggering 13,000 US Dollar together to build 7 wells in indigenous communities, which gave over 4,000 people access to water. As well as the money will be used to build a small school in Cambodias "outback".
- Helped Rosica to get a majority of her hearing ability back and started to re-finance her hearing aid with the help of friends.
- Helped Sokhav to get a proper diagnose of his skin-problem, put a therapy together as well as set him up with the initial necessities.
- We financed Chanrath and Meraline, two children who were abandoned by their parents, their studies at Krou Yeung Center so that they can receive a proper education.
This all couldn't have been done without the financial support of (this is in no particular order): Anke, Sunjay, Linda, Joy, Stefanie, Franziska, Genovefa, my parents, my aunt, Ellisha, Andrew, Nayomi, Florian, Sue, Tim, Kayelyn, Andy, Matthew, Jimi, Sumit, Christopher, Rouven, Ting, Robert, Ruben, Ling and Malte.
A big Thank You to all of you, you are grand !!
I will write more about my the highlights here over the next weeks - but one thing is sure I will come back here in the future, not just to see how the children here have grown up or meeting up with friends but also because it is such a peaceful and joyable place.
The enclosed pictures are from a splitter-bomb that was found in the backyard of our school... routine/daily reality to Cambodians - they didn't even "evacuate" the closest classrooms.
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