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Last Day in Siem Reap and Cambodia

Today was the day of “Transferrence” as Claire and Yut called it. It was a day of reflection and closure, and a way for us to make sense of everything we had been lucky enough to experience in Cambodia. We started off the day with Tuk-Tuking to Pepy school to meet some university students who were attending Pepy AND university to reach their goals and one day have their dream career. It was so inspiring to hear the story of Pepy and of the students there. They work relentlessly to ensure these students are getting the opportunities they deserve. It was shocking to hear that Pepy students attend school from 8-5pm, then need to bike from there to their university-classes there running from 6-9pm, leaving the students to complete their homework and sleep at 1am once they get home, one student I asked said. The drive that these people had to succeed was so motivating and it made me personally feel that I could push myself harder to succeed as well. As well as being hardworking, they were some of the kindest, and most down-to-earth people I have ever met and I will never forget how quickly they opened up and accepted us after barely knowing each other for 4 hours. After lunch together in the market we bid a sad farewell to Pepy students and headed back to the Reflection centre for some reflection (quite fitting if I do say so myself). We spent the afternoon discussing important themes and lessons of the trip, which really help to pull everything together and give us a little bit of closure to what was a life changing trip. We did some personal reflection on service and voluntourism and what it now means to us with the knowledge we have gained over the course of the 12 days we have been here. It really was what we all need to piece together all we had been through, and I am really glad we had that time to reflect and also express gratitude for each other on this trip. We went out to dinner at the NGO “Friends”’s Siem Reap location, and I think it is safe to say that this last dinner was one of the best of the trip. At the end of the night, we all met in the meditation room at the center to have one last debrief, and our final discussion of the trip. I think this night was so meaningful, as we had a chance to look back on the goals we set for ourselves on the beach on our first night in Koh P’dao, and see if we had truly achieved these goals, and also thank each other for everyone’s contributions to the trip and our group. It was such a beautiful moment; all of us in the candlelight holding our goal rocks, just like we had done 7 nights before on the island. For me personally, I know that I will keep my rock forever as it symbolizes how I was able to truly open up and achieve my goal, all while exploring a beautiful, strong country on the trip of a lifetime.