Volunteer Spotlight: Sharon

"Arrived as a stranger, left as a friend"

Sharron is 52, and is an IT manager from the UK and spent two weeks at our Cambodia Community project.

"It took 32 years to get here, but they say the best things are worth waiting for!  My interest in Cambodia began after I saw the film the Killing Fields in 1984 but for a number of reasons it was only in 2016 that I finally got an opportunity to come and volunteer.  The obligatory Google search led me to Globalteer who guided me through the process of applications, background checks etc. and sent pre-trip information and arranged a reassuring chat over Skype with the team in Cambodia."

"It was a nerve-wracking moment to leave home and travel half-way across the world on my own, but a warm welcome and a lovely fruit shake at the volunteer guest house, a helpful orientation session and an afternoon tour of the centre of Siem Reap all assisted in making me feel at home very quickly."

"The next day it was my first journey out to the and an introduction to two inspiring Khmer English teachers; smiling and curious children, eager to learn my name; and the start of a fantastic fortnight of sharing in the tasks of teaching English to the children in this rural village.  The journey to and from the village included a stretch along an untarmacked track, which in the rains turned to a quagmire.  The tuk-tuk drivers were extraordinarily skilled at keeping their motorbikes upright and our carriage on the road!  It was a real privilege to be there and to see how the Khmer teachers at the project manage with so few resources and I learnt a great deal myself and so admire the heart these folk have for the children. Genuine Khmer food, cooked over the open fire in the school ‘kitchen’ and shared with the staff at their weekly meeting was also a treat, though I could not compete with the consumption of added chillis!"

"At the end of my visit all the staff were going on a staff outing to a Buddhist temple and Baray lake.  To my delight I was invited along and shared in their free time, experiencing a truly wonderful end to my visit. I had a real sense that I had arrived as a stranger but was leaving as a friend.  I returned home to earn some more money in order to come out again … hopefully before another 32 years goes by!!"