Small steps towards big change.

We’ve been back from Southeast Asia for a month and a half now, though it feels like much longer. It turns out that it’s much harder to keep a blog updated when you aren’t having exciting new experiences in exotic new places on a daily basis. Fortunately, sitting on a plane to the much less exciting and exotic City of Arlington, Texas gives me some time to get something posted.

If you’ve read the previous posts from our recent trip, you’ll know that one of the highlights from our time in Cambodia was the opportunity to meet Rady and spend an afternoon visiting the floating village of Kongpong Pluk with him. Not only was it interesting to see a part of Cambodia that many tourists don’t get to visit, it reminded us just how fortunate we are to have been born in Canada and all of the privileges that we take for granted.

As weird as it is to say, we’ve been lucky enough to see this disparity before. We’ve seen it in the mountains of Peru, the Masai villages of Tanzania, and a number of other places we had the chance to visit. Each time, I’m reminded of just how lucky I am and tell myself that I need to do something more when we get home. Sadly, while each time I come home with the best of intentions, the realities of work and life quickly take over and “something” never seems to happen. Well, once again we’re back and life is as hectic as usual, but this time there is some good news to report.

When we got home we emailed Neil from Gap Adventures who had put us in touch with Rady. Neil told us about another traveller who had also met Rady a month before us while in Cambodia. Having heard Rady’s story she was raising money to help Rady build a new school house for his English Language School. We got in touch with Karen just in time to add our little contribution before she sent it over to Rady. Altogether she was able to raise $3,600.  This may not sound like a lot of money. However, as you can see in the pictures below, in Siem Reap it’s enough to help build a new school house that will allow another 90 children to learn English.

Putting the roof on the School of English for the Disadvantaged
Putting the roof on the School of English for the Disadvantaged
School of English for the Disadvantaged - Siem Reap
School of English for the Disadvantaged - Siem Reap
School of English for the Disadvantaged - Siem Reap
School of English for the Disadvantaged - Siem Reap

It’s impossible to say just what the eventual impact of what Karen has done will be, but if Rady’s story is any indication, it’s possible that one of the kids that benefits now will help a hundred more in the future. The knock-on effect of a small act can be huge.

Since we’ve been back, both Katy and I have been looking at little ways we can help from here. Yes, it’s been a month and we have little to show, but maybe the most important thing is that we are thinking about it and trying to take steps in the right direction, however small they might be.

Speaking of lessons learned while travelling, this is actually like climbing Kilimanjaro; if you add enough small steps together, eventually you can get to places you didn’t think possible.

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