Friday June 1, 2018

It is hard to believe this trip is coming to a close! A lot has happened since my last post. We traveled to Siem Reap and experienced the beautiful ancient temples including Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom. These temples left me speechless. Truly marvelous to think they were built in the 12thcentury by nothing more than elephants and man power!

                    Sunrise at Angkor Wat.                                                         Angkor Thom

After a relaxing break in Siem Reap we traveled back to Phnom Penh to our home away from home, the Golden Gate Hotel. After ten days traveling outside of Phnom Penh it was comforting to come back to our home base. Most of us went back to the basics of noodle soup of breakfast with a side of mango, I’ve realized sometimes it’s the little things that bring us the most comfort when we are out of our comfort zones. 

This week we finished strong with two days of well child clinics and one more acute clinic. For the well child exams, we partnered with two local schools to provide basic pediatric screenings and physical exams. What stood out to me the most is how joyful the children were! Although their environments were challenging, they found joy in every day. Interacting with these sweet children was an encouragement to me and a reminder to find joy in the little things. Similarly, at our last acute clinic we were all very tired and overwhelmed by the heat, yet we met lovely people who reminded us not to sweat the small stuff, no pun intended, and focus on serving one another with a joyful heart. 

                                Well Child Visits Day #1                                                          Local school main classroom

                         Last Day of Clinic: NP treatment area                                               Cows passing our clinic site

All in all, this experience surpassed any expectation I could have had. Thanks to Hope Through Healing Hands my desire to learn and grow in my understanding of global health has become a reality. This trip would not have been possible without their help and financial support. This type of work is not easy, yet it is worth it – to step outside my comfort zone and provide comfort to others is a rewarding challenge. My hope is to capture what I have learned over the past three weeks and allow it to be a cornerstone to my future work as a family nurse practitioner. I hope to always take a step back and see the big picture, to recognize how our individual actions contribute to global health. 

Today we are wrapping up the little things, last minute souvenir shopping, packing, and final tuk tuk rides. Even though my time in Cambodia is coming to a close, I know this trip will forever impact my outlook on global health and the importance of stepping out of our comfort zones to provide comfort to others!

Praise be to God for He is mighty to seek and save the lost. Lord teach us to be your hands and feet in this beautiful ministry you have invited us into. Give us eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts to feel your presence in this place.