OHF - Operation Hope Foundation
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Reflections from an 8-year old Volunteer

22 June 2016

By Chong Hui Xuan (June 2016 Open Team Volunteer)

I felt excited before setting off for the open team. I expected Prey Veng to be breezy and have some interesting temples, museums and shops. Mother went along with me. Father could not come as he had to take care of my younger brother who is too young to go and had school too.

In Prey Veng, I thought it was a little humid and scary with all the stray dogs roaming around the villages. I got to dig the soil, paint the sign and mix the cement. I felt that the building process of the toilet was challenging, especially the digging. The digging was challenging as the tools were too heavy for me. However, it was still a good experience.

I like the painting of the sign the most as I love to paint. I like the mixing of the cement the least as my tool kept on getting stuck there. Even though I like the mixing of cement the least, it still taught me a lesson to be careful. 

It felt quite odd to be the youngest team member, as I don't understand what the sisters say in their dialects, but every cloud has a silver lining, the sisters give in to me. I think the food is great, especially the meals cooked by the orphanage children. Although the food is simple, it is simply lip-smacking.

The houses were interesting. The sisters, brothers and I ate lunch in sister Sith's (the project beneficiary) house. We realised most parts of the house was made of bamboo! I also love the lorry ride to the village every day. It is so bumpy that it is like a roller-coaster when you sit in it.

I would be sharing this experience with my cousin to encourage her to help others. I would love to return to OHF for another volunteer trip in future as I think it is very meaningful to help others.



Hui Xuan (in pink)



Hui Xuan holding the sign she painted