Australia – By Two Very Special TLC Staff
Sen Se – Assistant Director
I had been looking forward to leaving Cambodia for Australia on the 21st May. Yes, it came and we caught a flight from Siem Reap to Kuala Lumpur and from Kuala Lumpur to Melbourne. We arrived at Melbourne at 11:35 PM and Aimee our ex volunteer and her mother, Kaarina, were waiting for us at Melbourne Airport and took us to their home. When I took my first step out of the airport, it was really shocking with frozen cold temperature. Oh my Buddha! It was 6°C
We were very lucky that the first week in Melbourne we were offered by Amiee’s family to stay with them. We had joined Andy’s 50 years Birthday (Amiee’s father), visited Melbourne city center and watched a movie in the Village Cinema, visited the Werribee Open Range Zoo where I could see many different animals and birds that most of them I had seen on TV and photos. We also went to visit Melbourne Museum, the huge and wonderful museum where I have never seen such things before. There were displayed animals and birds, bones of giant animals, science displays and many other things. Moreover, we met Julie and Paul, the parents of another ex-volunteer, Chantelle, at Safe Search Australia where we had a great opportunity to practice our presentation with their staff, who have supported TLC.
The second week we were in Adelaide. We were joining the training of Personal Empowerment Program (PEP) the empowerment and inspirational program to bring about change in one’s own life and make a positive contribution to the world. I learned so many things during the training and met old friends (our ex-volunteers) and many other amazing, motivated young people who have involved with WYI Overseas Action Programs. After the training, I feel very empowered and inspired and very positive to make a different in my life as well as in the world. It was a best experience in my whole life.
We also had an opportunity to do our presentation to two Rotary Clubs, the Rotary of West Lakes and the Rotary Club of Adelaide. Both presentations went well and I felt very proud of myself, as I was very confident to talk in front of 110 Rotarians.
Our last week of our trip was in Sydney, the busiest city compared to Melbourne and Adelaide. There was another great opportunity to present TLC to Turramurra Rotary Club and we got a very warm welcome from all the Rotarians. Besides doing presentation in Sydney I had been to Opera house and Harbour Bridge, Manly beach, Taronga Zoo, China town and other parts of Sydney and Blue Mountains. They all were extremely nice and incredible places that I have never been before.
Lastly, I would like to thank Amiee’s family so much for hosting us in Melbourne. I feel much appreciated with the best hospitality that Amiee and her family provided. The family always said “help yourself” and it made me feel like home. Many thanks to WYI for inviting us to join PEP training and many thanks to our ex-volunteers and WYI staff for much support and were very helpful while we were in Adelaide. Lots of thanks to Zoe for hosting us in Sydney and it was very nice place and really comfortable. To Rhonda who gave us tickets to the Taronga Zoo, what a great day! I also would like to acknowledge Barbara for guiding myself and Borany on how to do a good presentation, Cindy and Clarissa who had been our best drivers and tour guides almost everywhere in Sydney and provided lots and lots of support wherever and whenever needed, Sandra and Gerald who provided us a best welcome to their house and very delicious lunch. The best acknowledgement to a remarkable person, Billy, as I would never ever get all these incredible opportunities and experiences without all his hard work and the best support.
Chea Borany – Programs Coordinator
I am Borany; I would like to write this short letter about my first experience in Australia and also the first experience making it abroad.First of all I would to say THANKS to This Life Cambodia (TLC) and World Youth International (WYI) for supporting me to join the Leadership Development Program Training and visiting Australia.
We took a flight from Siem Reap airport to Kuala Lumpur airport. On the plane I felt like I was on the bus or on the boat, it is so hard to descript! I almost had plane sickness but am so lucky that I didn’t get it, I just felt a bit dizzy. We arrived in Melbourne at nighttime. The city is so beautiful! They have high buildings and beautiful lights everywhere. Amiee and her mum Kaarina pick us up at the airport and brought us to their house.
The first week in Melbourne – When we got up in the first morning at our host family’s house, Amiee and her mum were preparing for Amiee’s father, Andy’s birthday. Se and myself helped to decorate the party. After we decorated we went to the beach and walked along for about 30 minutes. Australians are difference to Cambodians, when people join a party they brings some food and soft drink along with them. The next day we took the train to the city and walked along the Melbourne center and went to wonderful cinema at the CROWN building. We visited the beautiful Melbourne Zoo, where we saw lots of wild animals and birds. We saw lots of cute Kangaroo’s, which is a sight of Australia country. We also visited an organization called the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre, which is supporting refugees from around the world who are immigrants to Australia. We went to the wonderful Melbourne Museum, which displays plenty of wild animals, insects and the big bones of dinosaurs, which are no more in the world. We also met with Julie and Paul and had a great opportunity to practice our presentation with Safe Search Australia staff, which has supported TLC.
The second week, we joined the Personal Empowerment Program (PEP) training in Adelaide Hills. The training was very empowering and inspiring for all participants. I learnt a lot from the program and met new friends and also old friends who came to Cambodia for the Oversees Action Program. We also had a great opportunity to present our organisation to two Rotary Clubs, the Rotary of West Lakes and the Rotary Club of Adelaide. The presentation went very well as the Rotarians were very interested with TLC programs and also learning more about the situation in Cambodia.
Sydney was the lastcCity that we visited in the third week. There are lots of beautiful buildings and nice places in the city. We did other presentation to the great people at the Turramurra Rotary Club. We walked to the Opera house and the Sydney Harbour Bridge, took a ferry to Manly Beach, visited the incredible Taronga Zoo, the Blue Mountains and China Town.
Finally, I would like to say thank you so much to Amiee and her family for providing us with accommodation, food, and lots of other things and for taking care of us so well. You all made us feel so much at home. Many thanks to Zoe who provided us with a beautiful place and a comfortable room in Sydney. Also I would like to acknowledge Cindy and Clarissa, our beautiful drivers and our tour guides, supporting us in Sydney. Thank you so much to Sandra and her husband Gerald, who warmly welcomed us to her house and offered us such a delicious lunch. Rhonda, thank you for giving us tickets to Taronga Zoo. Lastly, I would like to acknowledge Billy who is our clever and hard working director for offering Se and I the wonderful chance to visit Australia. Wishing you all and your family health and happiness all the time and hope to see you all someday, either in Australia or Cambodia soon.