Our trip to Prey Veng!
Cambodian Kids Can’s newest board member, Bronwyn recently visited our programs in Prey Veng with her daughter, Cody. Below are 13 year old Cody’s reflections on their trip:
“On the 2nd of November my mum and I arrived at Cambodia. The next morning, we went out for a walk and there were people trying to earn the slightest amount to keep their family healthy. I felt sad and angry that we couldn’t do anything and this is how they have to live life.
On the 3rd day we drove to Prey Veng, a town 2.5 hours away from Phenom Peng. I was looking out the window admiring the landscape. Huge amounts of rice field, houses, dogs, people, children. Some children as young as 2. I had a reflection of how I grew up and how these kids are growing up. They lived on the field with little shelter. No mobile phones, computers, iPad. Nothing but their house and family.
As soon as we arrived at the school we saw around 10 girls on the front porch smiling and waving at us. They were so excited to see us. As our host Melani walked up to them they ran up to her and hugged her. As mum and I waved and said hello, they were a bit shy. They weren’t used to many new visitors.
As mum and I introduced ourselves to the girls they were so intrigued. They were poking their heads out of the rooms to watch what we were doing. We met two girls, Pich (means diamond in Khmer) and Mai. Both starting year 12.
When mum had a meeting I wanted to talk to some of the girls. I asked Mai if she wanted to talk and hang out. We sat outside the classroom and talked. I asked lots of questions like, how are you liking school, is it stressful, what subjects are you doing, how long have you been here for, what’s your favourite subject and what do you want to be when you’re older. She answered in English which was very good. Mai had very good social skills like looking me in the eye when talking and giving me details in her responses. She told me that she was excited to stat year 12 but also a bit stressed. She told me she wanted to be a doctor (pharmacist) or an accountant. She was stressed because she didn’t know which one she wanted to be. I told, her that she had a whole year to think about it. I also told her to make a pros and cons list. She is learning biology and chemistry. Mai was the top of her class and was a very intelligent young lady. I loved talking to her and laughing.
The next night, they threw Mum and I a party, they made heaps of food put on some music and showed us a traditional dance. They made the outfits, and even had a choreographer to make their dance. I felt so honered as I sat at the front watching them. They were having so much fun and they were brilliant! We next had dinner. Groups of 5 sat at different tables. We had vegetables with beef and rice. It was delicious. The cook had spent around 2 hours making it. After we ate I went to the dance floor along with another 6 girls, as girls saw me go there they all came, around 15 girls had come by the end- all smiling. We went to our stay with full stomachs and smiles. It was so sweet how they had welcomed us. All the girls have had a rough background but they didn’t show it.
Overall the Cambodian trip my mum and I went on was amazing. Life must be so hard over there. Kids having to work at the age of 10 to earn money for a living and adults walking the street trying to sell anything they can. All I can say is that I feel very privileged and I’m hoping I can make a difference to those amazing girls lives.”