Teaching at Wat Chork and Wat Thmei has been eye opening to say the very least. The range of ages alone (of the students) has surprised me: we have very small boys and girls and men and women older than my ripe young age of twenty-one. What unites them all is their striking willingness to learn as much as they possibly can: planning to end early on a Friday, I said goodbye to the class only to watch as they all remained in their seats. This is partly due to the ever-present Khmer-English communication barrier, but it is symbolic of the students’ selfless attitude. In America students would be out the door at the slightest hint that class was to end for the day.
I’ve experienced quite a bit outside of class as well. Journeying to temples such as Angkor Wat, Banteay Srei, and Bang Mealea has been quite fulfilling and undoubtedly adventurous. A simple tuk-tuk ride by the different communities that make up Siem Reap is an education to foreign eyes.
I look forward to our continued time in this amazing country.
To sum up my experience in
What constantly impressed me about this country were its hardworking, dedicated, selfless, and caring people. For the most part, all of the Cambodians we worked with were unflinching in their wish to learn as much as possible, to get a job to support their family and themselves, and to improve their knowledge of the wider world that is slowly reaching them.
Tourism continues to be the most important industry here, and many of the teachers and guides we worked with rightfully took advantage of this by majoring in tourism and hospitality at area universities. Several of these people surprised me not only by their excellent English, but also by their dedication to their jobs. This especially lies with the teachers, as our interviews with the JWOC scholarship students revealed that education remains the single largest impediment and stepping stone to a successful career in their country.
To close, it’s been a whirlwind. I’ll miss many parts of