LMU Alternative Breaks Volunteer – Chris

June 26, 2008

Prepare to take a step back into the tenth century. Angkor Wat’s magnificent construction draws you in and once you have the opportunity to walk around the site it is hard not to feel as if you were an ancient Khmer. The whole experience will leave your eyes dazzled and your heart pumping. Another one of the great aspects of the temple experience is the diversity in temples you get to experience. The large and regal Angkor Wat all the way to Ta Phrom with its beautiful integration of trees intertwined in the temple stones.

However always important in a tour is your guide. The guide was selected by JWOC and it was just yet another example of JWOC making a good experience, great. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable on the temples but it was his sincere passion for the subject that stood out to me. His commentary was presented with a strong sense of pride for his country and her history. Therefore his heartfelt presentations made you feel connected to the community with a people that might have otherwise seemed foreign.

When I think of JWOC one thing comes to mind. Community. Yes it is one of the words that make up their name but it is also their mission. It is a virtue that they excel in. Anyone can travel to Cambodia and visit the temples but JWOC allows you to experience Cambodia as a Cambodian, as a guest not merely a tourist.

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