Hey there, I'm Charlotte and I'm pleased to say that I'm one of the 20 who will be departing for Cambodia this Sunday night!
To give you some background, our trip will begin and end in Phnom Penh, the bustling capital of Cambodia, and during those two weeks, we will be travelling to different locations such as Kep, Oudong Village, and Siem Reap. As a short term trip, we will be working with Tenth's long term partners in Cambodia, such as DOVE, Alongsiders, Manna4Life, Chab Dai, and Precious Women.
Read more about our partner organizations:
In preparation for our journey, we've been watching educational videos and listening to stories about Cambodia's history and culture, as well as how to approach a short term trip such as ours. I especially appreciated the guided discussions we underwent as they provided time for me to critically analyze my worldview.
One thing that surprised me was how little I truly understood about poverty. For example, the Helping Without Hurting Program describes poverty as one's disconnection from spirituality, one's own self, the community, and the rest of creation (or sense of purpose). This definition has been humbling for me as I assumed poverty was entirely centred around a lack of material wealth. I didn't take into account the fact that poverty is multifaceted, and that by this definition, every individual is capable of or has been in poverty at some point in their lives.
Something I've shed throughout the training was a silent hope to help and touch people's lives. I think that this hope came from my misunderstanding about service trips and my role in them. Although well-intentioned, I'm glad that I became aware of this, as I truly wish for authentic connections, and instead will focus on understanding my own preset assumptions and expectations in order to clear space for genuine relationship.
So, as I settle into this liminal space, the transition between packing and leaving, taking off and touching down, I kindly encourage myself to quiet any expectations, hopes, and fears and to instead rest in faith, awareness, and love.
We would love for you to join our journey live from Cambodia. To do so:
All the best,