Over the summer holidays, students from Engadine High School embarked on a World Challenge adventure through Cambodia and Laos, with peers from Menai High School.
On this expedition they learnt many invaluable life skills such as how to travel on a budget, book accommodation and transport, barter with locals, and overcome adversity.
They also experienced the rich culture and history of both Cambodia and Laos, and made positive contributions to communities in need.
Some of the highlights of the trip included:
- Visiting S21 and the killing fields to learn about the history of Cambodia and the devastating effects that are still being felt today after the impact of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge.
- Dancing on the main stage in front of a 5000+ strong crowd of locals and tourists in Siem
Reap for New Year’s Eve
- Living in the rural community of Poyta Sek, Cambodia, where they interacted with primary school children and helped to provide the materials to finish the construction of a wall that will protect the school from flood waters. They also painted the fence at the front of the school in rainbow colours!
- Watching the sun rise over the ancient temples of Angkor Wat
Students trekked through bamboo forests, slept in hammocks, sat by the campfire and star gazed. They swam under waterfalls and in volcanic crater lakes; watched spectacular sunsets over the 4000 islands that make up Si Phan Don, Laos; and visited COPE to learn about the issues that many rural Laos people face because of the Unexploded Ordinances that were dropped during the Vietnam War.
Overall it was a thrilling adventure for our young people, where they ate many different local delicacies, and sampled the many different fruit shakes on offer. Students honed their bartering skills and got the best deals on transport, accommodation and a range of goodies from all the markets, making it not only a powerful cultural awakening, but also an opportunity for economic skill development! Thank you to Ms Van Breda for accompanying our students and ensuring an indelible experience for all!