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Friday, June 27, 2008

LMU Alternative Breaks Volunteer - Lorena



Joining Journey's Within our Community for two weeks was one of the best experiences I have had in a long time. From the moment our plane landed in Cambodia, I immediately knew I was in for a different experience. For two weeks, we visited several of the JWOC projects and got to know the scholarship students overseeing the various projects: Clean Water, Language Schools and Micro-Finance program. I was so impressed with the scope of programs that address such crucial areas in Cambodia. One of my favorite volunteer placements was teaching at Wat Thmei. Working alongside the teachers, we got to read stories, practice grammar and pronunciation. The best part of classes was just getting to know the kids, sharing our stories and hearing about theirs also. Before we knew it, we were alternating words in Khmer and English. I really looked forward to going to Wat Thmei in the afternoon. One of the students won the hearts of all the volunteers. She brought us personalized bracelets with our names on them. She said it was a gift for us. Witnessing the grace and dedication of the students was the best gift I could have received. For me, it represented that JWOC time and resources were invested in the right place: the people of Cambodia, the youth that can pass on the information and work ethic for future generations. My experience volunteering through JWOC has undoubtedly changed me and I plan to keep in touch with the organization. I'm excited to see how it will continue to develop.

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