…There are the obvious things like don’t turn up naked, don’t bring a crate of beer, don’t encourage fighting, don’t start a brawl. And some of these things we managed. We’d both just done some laundry so clothes weren’t a problem and we were saving the crate for the weekend. The other things were a little trickier. You see we were there to save these boys from a life of gangs, drugs and unemployment. We were there to do some drama. Read the rest of this entry
Over the last few years, since I first volunteered at Riverkids, I have been helping them from the UK. I schedule tweets based on news articles, edit reports and write blogs based on their work. As part of that I’ve learn a lot about voluntourism and why it’s not always all it’s cracked up to be.
One of the main problems with voluntourism is that it’s hard to actually help change a community in just a few short weeks. It can be disruptive to the community and the individuals you work with. Instead of helping, you can contribute to keeping the people dependent on aid. Without proper help, you can cause far more damage than good. Read the rest of this entry
There is nothing more potent than context. It fills in all the clouds with stark imagery. It can be brutal, upsetting and give you nightmares for life. But not the killing fields. Despite everything, there is a strange sense of calm at Choeung Ek. A sense that now this is a place of rest for the millions who were killed there by the Khmer Rouge just 30 years ago. Read the rest of this entry
Phnom Penh is dusty, polluted and over-populated. According to the locals it’s politically corrupt and oppressive. We’d been told by other travellers not to stay there for more than a few days but we stayed for over two weeks and found the city both charming and confusing. There’s hope for Phnom Penh and we don’t want to leave it now.
Looking around as I stepped off the bus I could see why other travellers might want to leave. Compared to the rest of Cambodia it lacks natural beauty and asthetically it’s plain. I turned around to make a dissaproving face at Gemma but she was smiling, she’s been before and for some reason, she loves it. Read the rest of this entry
Nobody likes change. It throws you right off wack. Like with mars bars and snickers – once they were snack size and now they’re no more than a measly mouthful but they cost more?! Then again, nobody could finish a whole Mars bar back in the day.
When I first came to Phnom Penh four years ago it was a huge polluted, dusty city. There were a lot of expats living there and a bustling traveller scene so there were some westernised restaurants and bars, but there were no big shops, just one supermarket and one big book/stationary shop. Read the rest of this entry