Hey! My name is Ricard, I’m 28 and come from Barcelona. I’ve been volunteering at SCAO for 3 months and having to say goodbye now is one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. No kidding. During my last week in Som Roung village all I wanted to do was come back, feeling homesick for it already.
The kindness of the villagers and students, the “Hellooo!” and sprints of the children towards you every time they see you won’t be easily forgotten. Happy children makes everybody happy. Light-hearted children with their bad teeth but beautiful honest smile. And everybody! Men, women, students and monks, they all come up laughing, smiling and talking (in Khmer), and you not understanding, but still full of a warm feeling you know you are experiencing for the first time.
Cambodians are extremely jolly and always wanting to know what you are up to: “Cha, where you go?”. In them I felt that attitude that makes brothers no matter where you are from. A really simple, and yet so difficult to encounter, feeling. They don’t give a shit whether or not you are ready to receive this much love and gratitude.
It is a cliché but still true nonetheless. You go to an NGO to give something, and you do, but you leave with beautiful lessons that slapped your face. Nobody leaves being the same person, which, let’s face it, most of the times is pretty great news for the world.
Thanks to everybody at SCAO! You gave me so much and now I am hungry for more of it. My trip must continue. There is a world to discover and work to be done and enjoyed. Happy volunteer work to everybody!