09
Oct-2015

NPS – IB SERVICE – Cambodia Day 5 – One biiiiig day!

Good Evening Singapore!

Boy o boy what a day, didn’t think that we were going to fit it all in at one stage but determination and a great bunch of students made it happen.

As usual I’ll hand over to the students as I take a rest and a coffee:

Chomreab sour Parents! Each and every day has been amazing and day 5 has not been any less! We had a tight schedule ahead but nevertheless our excitement and enthusiasm could not be contained. We were eager to spend our time not only at Free The Bears, but also at the National Museum and the Phnom Tamao Pagoda.

The National Museum of Cambodia was built in 1917, but the beauty of the brick red building was timeless. The trip to the beautiful museum gave us an insight into the artistic history and culture of Cambodia. Cambodia is a country that takes pride in its heritage, which has seen influences of Indian, Egyptian and Greek civilizations, while still revering Buddhism: the country’s recognized religion. The tour lasted for only an hour and a half, but it felt as if we were travelling through the Pre-Angkor, Angkor and modern era. We had the opportunity to learn about the unique and intertwined understanding of the Cambodian perspective of different religions, which they had adopted within their own culture. Sculptures of Hari-Hara, a merged avatar of the Hindu deities Vishnu and Shiva, their perfectly crafted boats, intricately designed clothes as well as the more modern urns of the great Cambodian kings were just some of the artifacts that left us astounded and awed.

After the enriching trip to the museum, we headed to Free The Bears to make the most out of our last day. We started off with some thought provoking questions on humans, bears, and how they interact within the ecosystem, and even engaged in some debate and discussion for the same. Following that activity we then headed to do maintenance work at the sanctuary and to prepare food for the bears. Although it was our last day we left the sanctuary with not only one of the most educational and insightful experience but also the memory of all the unique, beautiful animals we saw and worked with (especially the most adorable Sun Bear cub we got to see!). We left the sanctuary with heavy hearts but happy memories that would last a lifetime.

Our next destination was a beautiful and serene Buddhist temple, Phnom Tamao Pagoda, named after a famous mountain in Cambodia. It’s hard to put in words what we felt. We were lucky enough to be a part of the ceremony held at the temple, enjoy the pristine aura and architecture of the temple. The local children welcomed us with open arms, and stole our hearts with their cheerful chatter and bright smiles. They taught us how to count in Khmer and small games and we in turn taught them how to count in English.

Tomorrow we will embark on our journey home from our last and perhaps the most fun-filled, inspiring and memorable Outbound Trip ever!

See you soon (Kheunh anak chab) Parents!

-Prachi & Srashti

There you have it and the action doesn’t stop there. Tomorrow brings a visit to the S21 Genocide Museum first thing (the educational part) followed by a bonanza at one of the largest markets in town (sure to bring the mood back up again).

After all of that (and lunch of course) we’ll be heading back to Singapore,

See you all very soon,

Team Little Planet

 

 

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