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Aynsley's Great Cambodian Adventure Part 2

Date: 30-01-2014
Author: Aynsley Damery

Let's Get Ready To Go!

Blog Date 26 December 2013

This is the second blog in the series about my great adventure to Cambodia! For the first blog on ‘What it’s all About’ click here.

Quick recap

For those of you who don’t know, on 4 January I’m off to Siem Reap, Cambodia to join the B1G1 2014 Study Tour. I’ll be visiting some of the projects that we, at Tayabali Tomlin, support and also helping build a playground for over 400 primary schoolchildren, conducting a knowledge workshop for business scholarship students and visiting vocational training projects at a prison and cookery school, amongst others.

Almost a reality

I’ve just received my ’9 days to go’ email from B1G1 founder, Masami Sato, about the local students we are meeting on 9 January. We will be conducting a Scholarship Workshop with 34 students who are pursuing high school education under a special scholarship program awarded by Child’s Dream. 8 of whom are preparing to do a short presentation individually, sharing with us their future aspirations. Even today, only 5% of children in Cambodia can receive high school education. Many of them even drop out from primary school. So the children we’ll be meeting had to work really hard to earn the opportunity. We will see why. And we will see why education really transforms lives when we meet these young people in person.


We’ve had all our jabs; tetanus, diphtheria, hepatitis a & b, typhoid, rabies (which made me feel more than a little queasy!) and have got our malaria tablets sorted. However, today reality has finally hit home. I’ve been so busy at work over the past few months that I haven’t really had time to think hard about what we are going to do. I’ve been talking to many about the what and the why and of course so many of our friends have been interested to hear all about it. But I have not really thought long and hard – deep down that is. I am excited, yes, but also apprehensive. Apprehensive about Cambodia, what we will see, how we will be seen, who we will be with and how it will affect me…..
Today I am preparing for a presentation to those 34 students about what I have done in business, how I started, what inspires me and tips and advice for those wanting to start their own businesses one day. It’s quite daunting…….getting the language and message right for a completely different culture, generation and those with life experiences I cannot even imagine. Inspiring but not cocky, informational but not condescending. It’s a tough line. It’s actually quite sad feeling scared about a presentation to 34 youngsters who’ve been through so much more scary……

Oh oh!!!

On a less serious note I’ve not thought a jot about the packing list kindly provided by Hashima from B1G1. I certainly don’t fancy having to fight through the Christmas bargain hunters for whatever is not on the list! I think we’ve got jungle formula, gardening gloves, baggy pants and underwear? ;) Oh well, at least tickets and passports are sorted!

Thank you!

I would like to thank all those who gave us donations in lieu of Christmas presents this year. Although our dog got more presents than us on Christmas day, I am eternally grateful and the money will be much better spent!


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Date: 30-01-2014
Author: Aynsley Damery


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