As it always does, time slipped away from me. Wednesday was my last day at the orphanage.
The weeks I spent there were unequivocally some of the most rewarding weeks of my life. I haven’t fully processed the fact that I won’t be seeing the kids next week. As someone who might have described herself as somewhat indifferent towards kids before this experience, it amazes me how much I grew to love and care for them in such a short period of time. I had so many mixed emotions about switching to the project at the orphanage. I had no experience teaching English, very little experience with kids, and no real burning desire to mix the two. But I entered the experience with an open mind (something I’m trying to do more often) and was rewarded one hundred times over.
The kids have so little control over their lives. They can’t control their environment, their family situations, where they live, what they wear, or what they eat. They own almost nothing. What they do control, far better than myself, are their emotions and their attitudes. They come to English class every day ready to learn and grateful for the education myself and the other volunteers can provide them.
I leave this place with the feeling that I was as much a student here as they were. I’ll forever be grateful to the young Cambodians who taught me so much.
Next up, Bangladesh, where a whole new set of challenges await me.
Thanks for reading.