Beth’s Cambodian Adventure

It’s been a busy couple of months! Just eight weeks after beginning my job as Graduate Account Executive at Leapfrog I jetted off to Cambodia where I took part in a volunteering project.

I had never been to Asia before and when I touched down in Siem Reap I realised it was a world away from my normal life as a PR girl in Cheltenham! After a lot of Tourist Visa forms and a brief argument with the terrifying Border Control Officers, I was ready to start my adventure.

Although the sun wasn’t shining, I had never felt heat like it. The temperature stayed at around 36 Degrees Celsius throughout my trip and this, along with the occasional downpour, made for very humid conditions. The temperature, of course, would have been fine if I was lying on a beach sipping a Mojito, but I was there to build a house, a task which proved to be a very sticky one!

Every morning we caught a tuktuk from our hotel in the centre of the city to a school on the outskirts of Siem Reap. This daily journey consisted of a lot of sand in eyes and holding on very tight but it was certainly more exciting than the usual drive to the office in my KA. I asked my tour guide if you needed a license to drive a tuktuk in Siem Reap, he responded no but assured me they understood ‘some of the rules of the road’.

At the village, I worked with a team of thirteen other volunteers from all over the world to build a house for a local family who had previously been living in a tiny hut, barely tall enough for a grown adult to sit upright in. The hut had no walls so during monsoon season the entire family of four would sit in the small brick building which served as the toilet. Miraculously, I helped to lay bricks, mix concrete and lay the flooring and within a week the house was almost complete.

On the final day of my trip the family arrived to see their finished home. The father gave a small speech and we were all moved by how grateful and happy he seemed. It was the perfect end to the trip watching the four of them chatting and laughing outside their new house that I had helped build.