We thought it was time to add our reflections to the class blog, now that we're on our last day in Cambodia! From the student's daily posts, you can see that we have had a busy month and a good mix of learning experiences, along with some excitement and fun!
Most harrowing experience? Hurtling through the jungle on a "train" made of bamboo platforms on removable wheels. When someone come the opposite direction, one of the trains is dismantled, the other one goes forward on the tracks, and then the train is put back together. Most rewarding? The house built with a group of orange-robed monks in a community outside Siem Reap, financed by family and friends of the 26 of us.
Happiest sight!? 300+students at a school in a tiny community, doing activities led by Luther students: games, dancing, crafts, and soccer. The soccer ended up in a game of sheer chaos, involving perhaps 75 students. Most sobering? The "killing cave" at the top of a mountain outside Battambang where our guide told his story- the death of many of his family members by the hands of the Khmer Rouge in 1975, or of starvation in the later years of the genocide.
Most memorable? Oh, so many things! Perhaps it was the "most beautiful beach in Cambodia" on our last day. Or the sights, smells and activities around the night market in Siem Reap; some students even referred to this area as "home"...Or the boat ride along the Mekong River to see the skyline of Phnom Penh.
But, our best memories have to do with the 22 students who made each day memorable, as they soaked in each experience, shared their interesting reactions, reflected on wartime and peace efforts in SE Asia, and reached out to the Cambodians they met (especially the kids!). It has been an incredible Jterm and we thank them for it!