Why do you get out the bed in the morning? What makes you
do it? Two questions possibly coming from a person who is too young to ask
them. At twenty i'm possibly only just a quarter of the way through life and
yet i ask myself these questions. Are you doing something worthwhile with your
time? Is this going to bite you in the butt when you're 80 and on your
deathbed. Are you going to be asking yourself why did i waste so much time
I came out to Cambodia to try to find some answers to
those questions because i felt as though i wasn't mature enough academically for
university and i didn't want to plunge myself into debt on a major that i just
wasn't cut out for. So i set out to come here and try to mature in a
self-imposed exile in a country that i had visited and loved. What i didn't
reckon on was the fact i like this independence, that if i don't want to do
something i don't have to do it, but on the other hand it's not going to get
done if i don't do it. I have to answer to myself and others if i let them
down. I'm sure this is how many people of my age feel when they're in
university and are now back at home and once again feel trapped and under the
constant gaze of their parents.
Recently my sister came out to visit and then my
father and i began to feel this feeling of being trapped again. However wonderful
it was to see them it was a familiar mixture of homesickness, familiarity and what
i have now come to understand was depression. When in England i would have
probably been diagnosed with depression of some sort by a clinical psychologist.
I wasn't going out much, i didn't do much other than play games and i wasn't
being stimulated enough mentally. I'll never forget my brother saying that when
he comes home i would never shut up. Mainly due to finally having someone to
talk to or entertain me. So when my
sister and father came i wasn't depressed all of a sudden, however after a
couple of days there was certain lethargy in me. Which wasn't great and i know
that this is something that will come up again if i live in England.
So that's why i did it.
That's why i left. To get away
from this, to change, to grow and become better.
What keeps me out here is the children. Not the little
ones at my proper school but the ones at my volunteer school. I have changed my
job within the school to be part time and be a homeroom teacher which means i teach
more subjects rather than just English. I have done this for three days now and
have enjoyed the teaching, maybe not so much in other areas, but originally my
biggest worry was my ability to teach
the children but this so far hasn't been a problem. So now, i have afternoons
off i go to teach at my volunteer school. It is so good. It's such a release and help to
myself to be able to do it. No paperwork, no internal office problems just
straight up teaching and helping.
Up until recently what made me tick was football and
to some degree it still does. However because of niggling injuries and constant
problems it has taken a back seat. This made me upset because i can't play and
i was down in the dumps. However it has now been replaced by these children. I
hope someday that my peers finds this feeling that i have. It's like having a
bottle and every time you drink from it, you are lifted three inches off the
ground and stand that much taller and smile that much wider. It's beautiful.
So that is why i am out here, i have found the reason
to still be here.
Yet there's this problem of not having a university
degree from England. Something that i have looked into rectifying. One solution
is by doing a university course here (some are available in English) however
the one i liked is no longer being taught and psychology (second choice) i'm
just not that interested in. So i looked at UCAS and some courses caught my eye
of English and teaching intertwined but i wouldn't be able to teach in England,
only abroad. I could home study from the Open University but the courses aren't
great and there isn't much support for fees. Am i ready for uni back in
England? Possibly, but do i want to go back to England? I'm unsure. It's such a
shame that i am being limited over what is essentially a piece of paper.
Due to some problems i had at work, i have already
written a resignation letter. Whether i'm jumping the gun, i don't know but if
i stop working here, is that an opportune moment to leave Cambodia and come
back for a few years? However the feeling after teaching those special,
wonderful children meant i lost all desire to leave this country. Maybe i'kk
make a u-turn on that psychology degree? However i do know i would be ripping
my heart in two if i left here and didn't see those children again and in fact
many of the wonderful people that i have met.
So what will i do? I honestly haven't got a clue. But i do know i'll do it my way.
Football for Kampuchea
The website for the charity Football for Kampuchea (F4K). It contains all the details you want to know about us and even a place to donate!