Saturday, May 30, 2015

Siem Reap: Touch A Life Volunteer Work

Hello i'm back!
Went to Siem Reap for volunteer work and a mini getaway last week.
It was scorching hot over there. If you think Singapore is hot, try going there during April-May, it's the worst weather coupled with au-naturel wind and fans. Good strong aircons is a rare find.
This trip has been a very fulfilling and meaningful trip for me as this is my first time doing a volunteer work overseas. Therefore, I really would like to share my experience here.
I'm not gonna go through day by day sequence, but rather topical titles. So to start with, I'll go with the heaviest full day activity of volunteer work.

The volunteer place:

We went to Touch A Life in Siem Reap, where a friend have already been volunteering over there yearly. This place is started by a Singaporean in fact!
Here's some links that you can refer to:
 I had some hiccups in life for the past few years that made me miserable and worrying, and after picking up my feet again, I wanted to do something to the society, to help and contribute part of what I can do as I had a helping hand from others previously. And at least, make someone out there know that people do care for them, whether in sickness or in sadness.
I finally got there last week, and I never regret this.
Touch A Life is a kitchen cooking for malnourished kids/ poor kids who are unable to afford a proper meal. On Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, a typical volunteer work is half a day where Saturdays is full day as we will have to send the food out to a village.
This post is what I experienced on a full day Saturday.

Typical full day Saturday: 

A standard practice is to wash your hands before you begin. We start early at 7AM and automatically begin chopping all the ingredients as instructed.
Almost all of us have never done cooking in Singapore, so this is not easy for us!
Especially when you have 8kg of onions to chop, it's a killer for me. I kept crying.. hahaha...
You just continue to keep cutting stuffs from 7am till 10.30/11am...

Meanwhile, 5 pots of rice have to be cooked and packed after cutting.
The start of the production line. Just imagine the rice is still hot, the guys have to scoop up the rice and send it for packing. We had to take turns because it can burn the hands.
And every pack of rice has to be weighed to ensure equal amount of rice is distributed and everyone has a fair share.

650 packets of rice on the way....
Meanwhile, 650 omelettes are on the way! This took 2.5 hrs to cook!
It's amazing to be part of such big kitchen...
I can officially cook a good omelette!!! :):):)

We made 3 pots of green vegetables, and that require stronger people to help stir to prevent burning below.

The final production, all ready to be sent to the villagers. By the time everything was packed and done, it was already 2pm.

The big tuk tuk that we used to send the food out.
A group picture! All of us were so involved and I was so glad to see everyone putting in effort and that's what they called team spirit, regardless if you have met one another 1 day or 1 year. The hearts beat as one just for the under privilege people in Cambodia.
When we reach the village, all the kids came running towards us with big smiles and laughters.
Such scene, I have never seen this in Singapore. They tried hopping on the tuk tuk and wanted to join us. Free spirited kids.

Many scenes made me very touched, and one of it was this grandma, who didn't want to go back.
She wanted to sit by the road and wave us off.
There was another grandpa who couldn't get off his bed, and when we visited him, he was ever so happy and kept blessing us even as we walked off.


Every stop we made, we also tend to their medical needs. Simple off the counter medications were items that we could only provide.
Many of them are malnutrition, and sometimes, they require rehydrating salts to replenish their basic water levels.
Many things I have learnt in this trip, and one major one is, we are very blessed to be in Singapore and this is a life changing experience for me as well.

I hope after reading this, you will take time to appreciate all the little things in life, and that if possible, do a little to contribute back to the society because there are many other people in the world who would just appreciate the basic necessity and a warm hug that you can give for free.
Because all they need is to know there is hope out there.



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