I see our students’ smiling faces everyday at our center. Behind each smile is a tiny being enjoying life as it is; behind each smile is a story we’ll never know.

This journey to Cambodia has opened a new perspective for me; what I thought I had known before has slowly faded into nothingness. For the most part I think the volunteers have only heard stories of the poverty in Singha Village because majority of our time was spent at the center. The times we’d venture out into the countryside was to only take our students home; even then, it was just a glimpse. We never took the time to travel beyond the mountains of Singha or personally interact with their families like we did this time around. As I process my thoughts and emotions while being exposed to our students’ livelihood–our students’ reality, I think to myself, two out of 52 weeks of the year barely scratches the surface…really, what is their story?

As I observe the ugliness and the beauty between our worlds, I am reminded that I get to leave. I am reminded to be humble and to learn without assumptions; be selfless and to be of service to others. I no longer feel sad or sorry for the students and instead see their world as it is.

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