We are fully invested in this experience, and it shows!  Our team has had little time to think about life beyond the reality of this wonderful opportunity we have been given.  Cambodia has become home for these two weeks.10383569_10152599063953086_7062438348699380611_n

In the morning, we eat the same breakfast each day, which has an abundance of fruit. We have all been excited to try new and exotic fruits. As a team, this trip is an extreme learning experience, as we discovered on our first day of work. Our first day of work was July 15, and immediately we were faced with problems of over-exertion, dehydration, and illness from lack of energy and scorching heat. Though the heat in Cambodia is technically no hotter than in Utah during the summer, the humidity makes us all sweat like crazy. We have to stay incredibly hydrated to make sure we maintain the amount of energy required to do our projects efficiently, and on the first day, we struggled a bit. There wasn’t much organization with k eeping our trash from getting everywhere, let alone taking breaks to drink and get shade to reenergize ourselves. Each of us were incredibly exhausted by the end of the day!

Fortunately, yesterday we were much more aware of how the technique of the day before effected us in the evening. We created a very effective system of working for 30 minutes, and then resting under a tree for 10 minutes. After each resting period, we were ready to go. We cranked out more holes in the morning than we basically had the first day!

Currently, our projects involve building fences, clearing plants and roots from where we will be building a garden by the schoolhouse, and painting and patching the cement in the schoolhouse.10556361_10152599062833086_8187500645704352146_n

To build the fences, we have to dig holes 1 half meter deep, and bury logs by packing them really tight in the holes. The first day, we experienced many issues regarding the quality of our fence building, and we had to fix and adjust most of the logs. Yesterday, we didn’t face those problems. We were incredibly efficient and were able to work very well. The projects at the school went very well yesterday at all, and at the end, everyone agreed that the system in regarding when and how often we were taking breaks worked very well in a variety of levels. We felt very good by the end of the day, as well as throughout the day.

The English Camp has been going extremely well! These kids are absolutely incredible. They are so attentive and they have fun with whatever we teach them. They are the sweetest kids in the world. We are so lucky to be able to meet and interact with this community. We are incredibly blessed to be in their presence.

Yesterday, we got to go to Sustainable Cambodia, which is an organization that helps children in Cambodian villages to go to school and they are also helped at home when they are not at school. We got to play with the kids and help them practice English.

We were given the ultimate blessing by their community- we were blessed by the five community monks. We participated in a ritual gift giving ceremony where we circled the community pagoda with dancers and drummers, and a Buddhist ceremony was held. Dragonflies swarmed around us, and the sky was covered in blankets of wispy grey clouds.  Many of us (including me) were able to sit right in front of the monks and present them their gifts. It was absolutely incredible.  We are so lucky to be here.

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