I have been volunteering at SCAO for almost five months now and during the last few weeks a lot of volunteers left SCAO, especially long term volunteers. Seeing people leaving who basically arrived together with you or only a few weeks afterwards is a very strange feeling.
You experienced together with them the first impressions of Cambodia, the life at SCAO and all the difficulties that might appear sometimes. Facing those challenges together can create one of the best friendships you’ll ever have.
This not only occurs with long term volunteers but volunteers on shorter stays. Living together in one house, maybe sharing beds but for sure sharing a room and spending your whole daily schedule together gets you so close to other people in shortest time. Through seeing each other 24/7, sharing the same thoughts or worries and having either the most interesting and serious discussions or mundane and trivial talk about random stuff, amazing connections and relationships emerge.
It often happens that, we forget these friendships are determined, they have an expiration date: the date on our return flight tickets. Of course, this fact makes our friendships so special and unforgettable but also it always resonates with a little bit of sadness.
Nevertheless, my decision to do volunteering at SCAO was one of the best in my life, I’m meeting wonderful and impressive people from all over the world and I hope that I can see at least some of them again.
This blog post was written by Svenja, a volunteer at S.C.A.O.