St. Mary's Chaplaincy

Francis & Daisy visit Cambodia

This Year's Gappers

Friday 24th January is the last day of term for our two Step Into the Gap volunteers, Francis and Daisy. On Monday, they are travelling to Cambodia with CAFOD to learn about CAFOD's work in that country and experience first hand what life is like for some of the poorest people in the world. On the eve of their trip, Daisy has been reflecting on her gap year so far and the adventure to come.

We’ve been at St Mary’s for 4 months now, and the time has really flown by. It seems like just yesterday, we were arriving in Blackpool, meeting all the staff and students, and getting lost in the school building. Since then, we’ve really found our feet, and I feel like I’ve really grown as a person. It’s crazy to think that pretty soon we’ll be leaving, and starting a new adventure in Cambodia, miles and miles away.

We were given a really strange piece of advice about going on this trip: “Don’t worry if you don’t enjoy yourself while you’re there, you’ll enjoy it afterwards,” This first came across as really scary - what if we have a terrible time? But on reflection, I feel as though we shouldn’t be focussed on trying to cram fun activities into every minute, watch all the best sunsets, and swim in the bluest oceans. We should instead appreciate the different way of life in Cambodia, and build real relationships with the people that we encounter. I hope to come home with lots of inspiring stories of the people we’ve met, and how their lives have been improved by the work of CAFOD’s partners.

I feel extremely privileged to be able to go to Cambodia with CAFOD and to see what life is like for the communities we’ll be visiting. I’m especially looking forward to seeing how communities are coping with the environmental situation when we visit CAFOD partner, COCD’s forestry and agricultural projects in Phcek Chhrum and Tam Por villages.

This trip is right around the corner and no amount of research can really prepare us for what we’re about to see, and the completely different world we’ll be visiting, but I’m ready to give 100% and immerse myself in Cambodian life.