By Xavier, Spark, Tor
Today we gathered at six in the morning and headed towards the Wat Kongmoch temple to perform a long lasting Cambodian tradition: serving food to Buddhist Monks that lived there (known as the alms ceremony).
On a regular basis, monks would go around their local village and ask for food from civilians. But for us, we arrived at the temple to directly meet the monks, each of us scooping rice and chicken into the metal containers that they held. This simple but meaningful act taught us to spread love through sharing.
After visiting the Monks, we participated in an activity similar to the well known TV show "The Amazing Race". We were split into four teams to travel around Siem Reap and complete unusual tasks, such as bug eating and learning the traditional Apsara dance.
Through this event, we also helped the local community’s less fortunate citizens by delivering and donating rice to a children's hospital, as well as to pave an uneven pathway in a local village. The winners of the race were then given the choice on how to donate their prize money.
With that, we learnt that not only should we sweat and have fun with friends, but should also take time to support and bring happiness to those who have less than us.
Shortly after the Amazing Race, we visited three of the Angkor Complex's most well known temples, known as Ta Prohm, Bayon and Angkor Wat.
Within these temples, we not only saw detailed and grandeur sculptures, but we were also able to take photos with the harmonic scenery between the entanglement of nature and man-made structures. This educational tour gave us knowledge on the culture and history of each temple, created by Jayavarman VII and Suryavarman II, those of Cambodia’s previous kings.
Overall, we think that today was one of the highlights of the trip, because we partook in unforgettable activities (and also had a spectacular dinner of noodle salad and fried rice)!
Food aside, we believe that the most valuable takeaway today would be learning the value of sharing and helping others in the community. Although small acts like donating 5kg of rice, evening out a small chunk of a pathway or participating in the alms ceremony could be seen as simple tasks, we believe that little differences are what makes communities unite with compassionate hearts and help our world towards becoming a better place.
See you all tomorrow in Hong Kong!