As of today is has been one day since we’ve landed back in Singapore from the week of our lives in Cambodia; I’m thankful for the team of 25 of us together with our amazing 2 teachers and helpful YMCA chaperone who got us through the week and helped us all grow and learn significantly with the little things that we experienced and I have many thoughts on my mind. I can’t put into a single post what exactly I learned from Cambodia and its people because every interaction, every observation and each story exchanged has given me incredible insight and reflection about how I view the world and my own way of life. And today, I think I’d start with the most prominent lesson we constantly learned and re-enforced over the trip: making more with less.
We all know that Singapore is a developed country and we have infrastructure, resources and a growing economy that those developing or less developed don’t have. We also know that the less developed country have it harder, and they lead different lives from us. But it’s not until you see and experience it for yourself that you realise they lead very, very VERY different lives from us and with the little that they have (compared to us) yet they make so much more out of it than I ever do with the abundance that I have everyday. On the streets alone near the orphanage, there aren’t beautifully paved roads with lines and traffics lights or direction signs. All these replaced with sand and rock to create a bumpy road that the children cycle on to get to school every single day. The air is less clean, and the people very much coexist with nature’s insects, bugs and animals all around. Their access to water is less than half of ours and so is their electricity, probably. And your most accessible transport tool is your legs- you either walk or you cycle. With all these differences, not only are they equally happy as we are with what they have, they are stronger and they have the amazing ability to adapt and make the best with what they have. They aren’t ‘making do’ or ‘getting by’ like we’d imagine they are, they’re living and breathing and enjoying every moment they have with whatever they own. They have so little (compared to us) but they share and they love and they give.
It seems as though they have just as much, if not more, than us.
At the end of the trip our YMCA chaperone left us with this, ‘Contentment in a simple life is gain. And contentment in a complex life (like ours) is greater gain.’ And I think this will map out my direction in shaping the way I see all the things that I own and have for an extremely long time.
When the photos are finally up, I will have countless of posts all about the trip and what it has left me with, but in the meantime, today I enjoy the second of my relaxing and contented day since I’ve returned from the beautiful place with beautiful people.