Epilogue: A Reflection
Uden Travel Blog› entry 17 of 17 › view all entries
The flight home was truly dreadful. Not only did the plane take off more than 2,5 hours behind schedule, I had also been assigned a seat just behind the pantry, where you normally find parents using an attached baby's cot. Now, this might seem like a slightly more spacious seat but it's most horrible place to sit when you try to sleep since there's nowhere to put your legs. In a normal seat you can shove them all the way under the seat in front of you. Here you'd just hit a wall. Most uncomfy!
Arriving back in Holland I found it was freezing. Quite a shock, a change in temperature of more than 30 degrees. The train ride was fortunately comfortable and dad was waiting in Oss to pick me up.
During the building project Dave had frequently reminded us to sit back and reflect on what we were doing.
The thought that kept troubling me though was if I had done my sponsors and donors justice. Sure, I had paid for my own flight ticket and the trekking since I considered it unfair that any donations would be used for this. Still, here I was in a rather luxurious hotel and having dinner in fancy restaurants during the evenings and a splurge of lunches during the day. This is not quite what I had in mind when I was thinking about volunteering ... this almost felt like a holiday.
And this kept troubling me a bit, especially after discussing it with Martina and Dave.'Charity Sponsored' Trips: A Pet Hate. Also, it still is a bit silly to fly 17 westerners to Siem Reap to build two houses while the locals are much better at it.
Having said all of this I still think that we did a good thing. Without all of the raising of both funds and awareness MAG wouldn't have 30.
With this out of the way I can now safely say that I had a most wonderful time during this second visit to Cambodia. It was really special to work with and among the locals for four days, explore the country side for two days and last but not least have so much fun with the other volunteers, the crew and local guides. This has indeed been an experience to cherish for a long, long time. In 2011 I hope to receive a volunteering placement through VSO and I most certainly wouldn't mind if the concerned country would be Cambodia ...