After I finished high school I embarked on my first solo trip to Cambodia for a month. I'd signed up with a gap year and student travel adventure specialist (called Real Gap Experience) to volunteer as an English teacher at an orphanage in Siem Reap, and after only one month of volunteering, I feel as if my eyes were finally opened. Here is a list of things that I wish I was told before I embarked on my trip:

 

1)Signing up with a specialist volunteer company is fine the first time, but if you want to return to the same place, don't sign up again. 

 

 

2) Go for a longer period of time.

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Sunrise at the orphanage

 

3) Be prepared to do more than what you signed up for.

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For some reason the manager wanted to take a selfie at the hospital, which is disconcerting...

 

4) You will probably be pestered to donate money, to the point that you WILL get frustrated.

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Bringing food to the orphanage instead

 

5) Try NOT to get attached to the kids.

 

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I made the mistake of developing favourites, and while I miss them dearly, there is nothing I can do about it at this present moment :(

 

5) If you really want to make a difference, keep the connections and keep coming back.

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Making eye masks

Published by Jessie W