Saturday, April 19, 2008

Trip to Cambodia in December 2006

I just recently returned from Cambodia! I was there for about two months. I have seen things that many will never see. I had the opportunity to work with victims of child prostitution and children forced into manual labor. There were moments of sadness, moments of happiness, and also moments of anger. The people of Cambodia need a lot of help and support. Many times we complain on whether or not we have the best TV or the newest car. They wonder if they will have enough money to support food for their family. I met a family in Cambodia who welcomed me into their home and served me with the best they had. When I left that home I saw that these people had less than I had butwere still willing to give it all up for me, a man from America that they didn't even know. All I did was smile and they were willing to give me everything, to serve me as if I was a friend of theirs for years.


I went to Cambodia with a group of people from my college. There were eight of us, six girls and two guys (me being one of the two). We all came from different places. A lot of us came from America, but we also had people from Japan, Norway, and South Korea. While we were in Cambodia we all stayed in one house. We did everything like a family would. We ate together, and we even had a time in the day when we all came together and talked about what we did.

When our group went to Cambodia we had no idea we would be teaching English. When I found out I was going to be teaching English to children, I was not to sure about it. I was being reminded about my grades in English class. In fact, English was my worst subject in school! The first couple weeks were hard but I was able to connect with the kids and we had a lot of fun learning English together. The children we taught came from nearby villages. We taught them for free! We had around fifty children come everyday. Which were put into different age groups.

We were in Shinaqville, Cambodia for close to two months. Shinaqville is a small town on the southern coast of Cambodia. We were able to go to the beach almost every day. At the beach we saw tourist from mostly Europe and Australia. We also saw children from four years old to eighteen years old selling anything they could. We made friends
with many! It was very sad to see a four year old come up to you and beg for money. Many times I left the beach in tears. We also saw many older people who would come and beg for money many who were missing limbs. We spent many hours with these people at the beach giving them some joy during their day. The girl next to me in this photo was one of the girls who sold fruit on the beach. Her name is Sally. Our whole team got to know her really well. Sally was one of children who are forced to work on the beach everyday all day by her parents who do nothing. In Cambodia many of the parents let their children do anything they want. Our team was invited to a thirteen year olds birthday party and everything was great like a normal thirteen-year-old girls birthday. Later in the evening the adults went to bed and left the children from as young as eight with beer. All the children started getting drunk. We were shocked. it was so sad.

When I left for Cambodia I never knew how much my life would change. I have always loved children, but adoption has never come to mind. The girl in this photograph is five years old. She followed me everywhere I went, and copied everything I did. I gave her the name Abby; becau
se her real name was too long for me to say yet alone write. I always told myself I was going to have a daughter named Abby. Well I know what you are thinking did an eighteen-year-old guy really adopt a five-year-old girl from Cambodia. The answer is NO! As much as my heart broke to leave her in Cambodia, it was just not possible. I think about her almost everyday now. My Abby! A Precious little girl that forever has changed my life.

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