The Beacon School Leaderboard 09/05

Camps International – Cambodia 2023

Published by Mayville High School on Monday 25th of September 2023

During the summer holidays, a group of Mayville pupils took a long-awaited trip to Cambodia. The expedition, organised by Camps International and funded by pupils, offers the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn about global issues and make a positive impact through community, wildlife and environmental projects. In this article, current Year 11 pupil, Ava, reflects on the experience.
In mid July, we embarked on our much anticipated Camps International expedition to Cambodia, which had involved two years of fundraising. After clambering on and off of the minibuses which took us to Heathrow airport, we met up with the other schools, to form our whole group: Team Keng Kang. Eagerly, we boarded the plane to Phnom Penh. The journey was split with a layover in Singapore. As soon as I stepped off the plane, I was met with intense heat and humidity.


We travelled to the hotel in Phnom Penh and visited some night markets. At the markets, we met locals, bought gifts, danced and listened to live music. The following day, we visited the notorious S21 Prison and one of many Killing Fields. I found these very moving and could hardly believe the atrocities which had happened there.


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We arrived at our first camp: Beng Pae. Once oriented, we dug wells, made concrete rings, learnt some Khmer, did a litter pick and were also nearly caught in a tropical thunderstorm. The showers and toilets were a bit of a shock, as there were no flushes or hot water but we did have fun in the hammocks. We visited a temple on the first day, where some of us were blessed by Buddhist monks, which involved being drenched in very cold water.


Then we set off for Koh Rong Samloem (the dive island and Sunset Beach). We spent five days participating in diving training and emergency first aid courses. I was lucky enough to achieve my PADI open water diving qualification. We spent the evenings on Sunset Beach watching the sunset, playing pool and watching films.


We returned to Beng Pae, where we were given the opportunity to teach English in a local school and to begin work on a football pitch. We completed building the two wells we had started on our initial stay.


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Keng Kang were fortunate enough to visit one of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World: Angkor Wat and the temple from Tomb Raider, in Siem Reap.


We arrived at our final Camp: Beng Mea Lea. We met Han, who is known as the 'smiliest man in Cambodia'. We built concrete pots for locals to store water in during the dry season; we also built a chicken coop in two days.


Finally, we travelled back to Phnom Penh and made our way home.


My greatest take away from this experience was how fortunate I was to help others and just how lucky I am.


 

Camps International – Cambodia 2023 - Photo 1Camps International – Cambodia 2023 - Photo 2Camps International – Cambodia 2023 - Photo 3
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