On December 1, 2016, nine eager Mary MacKillop College students, along with two teachers and Antipodeans Abroad, departed Adelaide to embark on what could only be described as an eye-opening and exciting three week experience in Cambodia. The overarching reason for the trip was to not only build initiative, teamwork and a greater appreciation for life within each student, but to help a very poor family in a rural community through building a new house, garden and chicken shed, so that they may support themselves.
Prior to departure, the students raised their own money through various fundraisers (both together and individually), and decided on what we would like to include in our itinerary, to make the most of every day.
Upon our arrival at the Phnom Penh airport after a full day of flying, the team was thrust straight into Cambodian life as we took our fist Tuk Tuk ride through the hectic and crazy traffic of Phnom Penh. However, the surprises didn’t stop there, as we experienced many unforgettable moments. We experienced the hustle and bustle of the Cambodian day and night time markets and learnt about the tragic history of the Cambodian people. We went swimming, fishing and snorkelling on the pristine island of Koh Rong and fed and bathed elephants in a wildlife sanctuary in Mondulkiri. We walked through the surreal temples within the Angkor Wat complex, taught at a local English school, tasted the delicious local food and met many wonderful people along the way.
Even though each of us had our difficult moments, they changed us for the better. The time in Cambodia was the best three weeks of my life. I returned to Adelaide with increased initiative, ready to tackle the years ahead with a much greater appreciation for life.
I would like to thank the school, which has given us so many unforgettable experiences vital for our future endeavours. They have set us in good stead for our final year of schooling or, for some of us, starting new journeys in university, and for this we could not be more grateful.
Year 12 Student