Welcome to the first in a series of blogposts on our Cambodian Adventures! In this first installment, we’ll share some photos, videos & a high level overview of our experiences while you discover how we came up with this title!
NETS (100): We kicked off our first day visiting Leng Dai, the newest village we’re assisting. While there, we met the village chief who coordinated a meeting in their "community center.” After explaining our goals of helping out with wells/nets/homes/uniforms, we distributed our first batch of mosquito nets, This village has ~1200 families, with close to 800 of them in need of assistance. We’re excited to move into 2020 with a vision of enhancing their lives by helping them meet their fundamental needs of accessing fresh water, preventing disease & educating their children.
NOODLES (1000 packets+): Each day we travelled into the villages (~45 minutes outside of Siem Reap), we visited dozens & dozens of well families, gifting them with a case of noodles (which we were told is a big treat, given their constant diet of rice in a vegetable broth with the occasional bits of fish, frog or chicken for protein). We were so graciously received by these humble, sweet villagers! We LOVED seeing the immediately visible evidence of daily well usage – their soap, toothbrushes, pots/pans and buckets were “at the ready” - and their gardens & freshly laundered clothes were colorfully displayed nearby. MTRF donation dollars put to good use, without a doubt! Stay tuned for more details in our upcoming “WISHING YOU WELLNESS TOUR” blogpost & in the meantime, enjoy the ‘sneak peek’ photo (with well in background on the left) and the brief video below.
KNEES & TOES: Whether we’re in India, Africa, Cuba or Cambodia, it seems the “universal songs” to help children quickly learn English are “Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes” and “If You’re Happy & You Know It….” When Monday rolled around, we headed to Romchek School to teach English to students who were wearing uniforms & using backpacks that so many of you donated! After "English/Music/Exercise Class," we shared a small surprise that helped us illustrate a lesson that wove together the topics of friendship, water, uniforms + the importance of education. That lesson, along with several videos of these adorable students in action, can be found in our upcoming blog entitled “ABCs, Do Re Mi, 123.”
MORE KNEES & TOES: One of the highlights of our village “field trips” was visiting the family of the young teenager we met ~2 years ago, shortly after he severely injured his TOES/foot. Click HERE for a link to the blog written about him in 2017. Soon we’ll post an update ("MTRF Foot Family Reunion" ) containing photos & videos on his recovery status! In the interim, we chuckle as we report that the “less than sturdy” bridge we used to reach them during our last visit (see “old bridge” photo below) was no longer in existence! YIKES! Yes – you guessed it – this time, we had no choice but to wade through the KNEE-deep stream in our bare feet for this long-awaited reunion (check out our first 2 videos from that visit below). Little did we know what we’d be getting ourselves into when we were innocently singing “…knees & toes, knees & toes….” earlier in the week. 😉
HOMES: Over a year ago, we launched our successful sustainability program whereby we provide building supplies to families in need of more robust homes ($175 covers poles/roofing materials). They, in turn, weave palm-frond sides & engage family, friends & neighbors to assist them in constructing their new homes. We had some very moving experiences when visiting several of the families who received those supplies - thanks to your support! One special surprise was seeing a tiny newborn baby girl (literally just ~3 weeks old!). Talk about first-hand validation of the significant value of sheet metal roofing and a sturdier home!! Getting to some of these homes added new twists & turns to our experience; those adventures will be shared in our blogpost “Over the River & Through the Woods…” In the interim, we know you'll enjoy this photo of the village’s adorable newest addition!
In closing, while pictures are worth 1,000 words, we recognize that combining them with text and videos is the next best thing to being there. With that in mind, we hope you’ll take the time to learn more about our recent trip to Cambodia by checking out our upcoming blogposts! AND, as always, we’re grateful when you share links to our website, Facebook page and/or blogosts with your friends, family & co-workers, to help spread the word about the work we’re doing to help families in need!
Interested in tackling your Holiday Gift List early? Dedicate your tax-deductible donation of a well, home &/or school uniforms to friends & family members AND receive a free holiday-themed dedication certificate (complete with photos) to print out to place under the tree (framed) or tuck into stockings (scroll-style). See sample Holiday Dedication Certificate below: