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Category: Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia

The Killing Fields

My first steps onto the premises of the S-21 Prison were some of the most impactful. It once was a school; at first I didn’t even believe we were at the prison. How could something that seemed so helpless and fragile be used for a purpose so cruel, so gruesome?

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Southeast Asia

Sustainable Farming with Ockenden

The first stop we made in Cambodia was to volunteer with Ockenden, a non-governmental organization focused on promoting permaculture and sustainable farming practices. On July 16, after our last night with mattresses for a while, we headed to our home stay to drop off our bags. Perhaps the most rural part of our adventure, our home stay consisted of bamboo mats to sleep on, bucket showers, and plenty of red Cambodian mud.

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Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia in Photos

Two of the participants on our Southeast Asia: Animal Conservation program are working towards displaying their photography in an exhibit and fundraiser once they’re back in Toronto. When we asked if they’d like to contribute to the Operation Groundswell blog, they enthusiastically replied that they would love to share some of their photography work.

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Southeast Asia

Cast Your Stone

It’s hard to say what I expected as I planned my departure for six weeks in Southeast Asia. I had many hopes, expectations, goals, and fears. The anticipation of the upcoming trip had my mind busy with things I looked forward to, and ultimately, how I wanted to learn and grow from all these new experiences to come. Because of this, these thoughts partly sheltered my mind from the realities of the cultures I would be experiencing.

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Southeast Asia

12 Life Lessons I Learned From OGSEA Summer 2016

1. There are some things you simply cannot do alone… No matter how independent or capable you think you are.

2. Uncomfortable is not defeated.

3. Hand shakes, high fives, or what some know as a “thumbs up”, are not internationally recognized gestures of positive reinforcement or a person’s friendly demeanour. However, smiling and eye contact is.

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Photo by Alex Arsenic De Castro
Southeast Asia

Rosie the Rosewood Tree

We recently had the opportunity to work alongside Freeland, an anti-wildlife trafficking organization in a National Park in eastern Thailand. Upon meeting the park rangers there, we learned that not just the wildlife in the park is at stake, but also their home: the forest itself. Specifically, the rangers told us about the illegal poaching of the rosewood tree.

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Southeast Asia

The Whirling Rainbow Prophecy

Since being in Cambodia, I have seen two halos around the sun. While there is obviously a scientific reason, there is also an amazing spiritual one. Great spiritual teachers called this the “Whirling Rainbow” prophecy.

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Southeast Asia

When Dreams Come True

Every day that I’m on this adventure I wake up ecstatic. It doesn’t matter if I’ve just spent the night sleeping on the floor of a home stay, if my room lacks A/C, if my shower has no water, or if I’ve spent the night sharing my bed with some questionable six-legged creatures.

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Southeast Asia

Building Our Shared Future with Tiny Toones

Tiny Toones Cambodia’s mission is to provide a safe, positive environment for at‐risk youth in Phnom Penh to channel their energy and creativity into the arts and education, specifically through hip-hop dance. They seek to empower these children to build self‐confidence in their daily lives, aim for better employment possibilities, and feel supported pursuing their dreams.

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SEA Panorama
Southeast Asia

Regarding the Cliche

I do not suddenly feel worldly and cultured. But I do feel that the world, and the beautiful people in it, has changed me.

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The Mekong River
Southeast Asia

Awareness and Resilience in Cambodia

Just outside Phnom Penh lie acres of open land that belong to an animal sanctuary. There are thousands of endangered species and animals are who cannot be returned to the wild, usually due to human interference.

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