Written By Jess & Jackie
During the past 2 weeks, Sabai 2019 has been finishing up our travels in Thailand and beginning our adventures in Cambodia!
We began our Cambodian adventure 4 days ago in Siem Reap and finally saw Angkor Wat this morning (at 6 am…). While the temples were breathtaking in the morning sun, one of my favorite experiences so far has been our visit to EGBOK, a nonprofit that trains poor, young Cambodians to work in the booming hospitality industry. The second we stepped on EGBOK’s campus, we were welcomed by 50+ smiling and waving 18-24 year olds. After a tour of the school, we learned how to make lotus flower decorations, were gifted scarves, ate spring rolls that we made, and snacked on bugs and snakes! However, my favorite part of the visit was the free time after dinner. While a pickup volleyball started up, we played traditional Cambodian games with the students. In one game, similar to duck duck goose, players are allowed to hit the person sitting next to them with a soft scarf while chasing them around the circle. We all got creative in defending ourselves and pursuing others, blocking hits, throwing the scarf, and running the wrong way, all while bringing out the dormant playful child inside all of us. I haven’t run with such vigor and laughed with such joy in a very long time. At the end of the game we all cheered and clapped, celebrating the happiness the simple game brought us. Our visit to EGBOK means so much to me because it wasn’t a sight to see or a scene to take pictures of. We had the chance to talk with the students and learn about their lives and families. We caught a brief glimpse of traditional Cambodian life – what is commonly eaten and worn. Despite language and cultural barriers, we made a connection with students our own age, whom have very different lives, through games that bring their own families and friends together. Thank you EGBOK and thank you to the wonderful, welcoming, caring students of EGBOK!
Jess and Jackie
Here are some pictures from our adventures these past 2 weeks: