Junior Service Trip 2018 – Hiroaki Hayashi
This year the Junior class went to Cambodia for their Junior service trip. Throughout the service trip, the Junior class learned about the culture of the country and participated in Habitat For Humanity where we built 2 houses over the course of 5 days.
The first two days were basically a rest time and fun time as we adjusted to the environment among other things. First we visited the Killing Fields, a place where they kept some of the remains of the Cambodians, killed during the rule of Pol Pot (Pol Pot was a Cambodian dictator who killed everyone who went against his rules and orders, so basically it’s harsher version of North Korea.) After the killing fields, we visited the War Museum where we were able to see a lot of weapons and military-related stuff such as the tanks and airplanes. There were also real guns that we were able to hold and play with; as you may see in the third picture with Kai holding up his gun as if he’s Rambo.
Before we get into what we actually did for our service trip let’s go over of how the Cambodian delicacies were. A lot of Junior class members were worried about cambodian food; we imagined eating some random foreign food that we’d never had before. We were given 15$ budget for every meal that we had in a restaurant; 15$ might not sound like a lot of money but in Cambodia, with that money, we were able to order 2 main dishes and a smoothie for every lunch and dinner. There were a lot of food choices from a burger to steak, and basically, everything else that you could think of. One day if you felt like eating western food you would eat that and the other day you could order Cambodian meals.
Now let’s talk about some of our house building experience. Building a house was one of the most interesting experiences that I would ever have because you get to work with these skilled workers who can hammer nails inside the wood with 3 hits whereas it would take us, like, 20 tries. Some of the people had the chance to do scaffolding, which as you can see in the second photo with Ryutaro and Elijah, is where you climb up to around the 3rd-floor level and start nailing nails into the wall, the roof or on top of the house. It was quite fun and terrifying at the same time because we had to work on the 3rd-floor level with just a helmet… if you fall down, your done.
After the hard work days we got a few break/vacation day until our departure back to Chitose. The first vacation day we were able to visit the waterfall and have a boat ride to the biggest lake in South Asia. During our waterfall trip we were able to taste some cambodian delicacies such as coconut bread and fried bananas. We were able to see the floating villages through our boat trip and they are called the “floating” village because the houses literally float on water.
On the second vacation day we were able to visit the amazing temples that was always full with tourists from all over the world. We visited a total of 3 temples, the most famous one being Angkor Wat. It was incredible to see the temples that were there since 12th century, but it was also really hot throughout our temple tour and all the juniors were dying from dehydration and the heat from the sun. After the temple tour we visited the circus which was really exciting and thrilling. Throughout the show the actors were really engaged as we could see from their faces and the way they were flipping, jumping, spinning, and running around the whole stage. It was super entertaining. After the show our class was able to take a group photo with the actors as you can see in the photos.
The day after the circus and the temple tour it was our day to finally go back. First from Cambodia we had a flight to Bangkok airport and after arriving there we had to wait for 7 hours inside the airport until our next plane. During the 7 hours we looked around the airport, it was huge—we had a lot to explore, and enjoyed some thai food before we came back to Sapporo. Then we flew from Bangkok to Chitose and that was the end of the Junior Service Trip. A lot of people got sick right after we came back to Sapporo but I think it was still worth it as it is was a one time experience for a lot of the Junior Class.
Interview with the Junior Class members.
“How was the trip?”
Daniel Lopez(Class President): As a Junior Class President I think our class did a fabulous job throughout the trip whether it came to teamwork and responsibility or just having fun. Overall it was a really good experience for me and I think I can say the same for the rest of the class.
Andy Yoon(Korean): Before going on the trip I thought that the working would just be really hard and tiring but instead everything we did in Cambodia was such a valuable experience. But it was so hot.
Kotaro Furuya(Khmer): It felt great when a lot of the Cambodian people started to talk to me in Cambodian.