by Chor Choch
Joe and Yut survey Los Angeles after arriving in America
Photo Credit: Unknown
Chor Choch works as a bookkeeper and tour guide for PEPY's sister organization PEPY Tours. Last month, along with his colleague Yut, he went to the USA to take part in a professional training course for running experiential education tours – organized by one of our partner organizations, Where There Be Dragons.
I am Chor, and am so happy to share this experience and what I have learned from this trip.
After flying almost 15 hours from Bangkok International Airport of Thailand we arrive to the Los Angeles Airport in America. Our tour leader Claire picked us up from the airport to bring us to the hotel where the rest of the people coming for the training were staying. I feel so happy when I was arriving there and excited seeing new things… the construction in Cambodia is pretty small, but the construction there is really huge. And the way that the traffic go in America is really smooth. They have line on the street where people follow the line. The traffic in Cambodia is without following the guideline of the traffic; they just flow around everyone.
We drove about six hours to the camping area called Sierra National Forest. The next morning we started to learn about first aid with our fabulous coach instructors. We learned about this for a few days. I really liked this course – it's useful for our daily life and work. For the next days we spend our time to learn from the different lessons, activities, ideas, cultures. In the daytime we learned about the different workshops and at night time after dinner we have a talent show, or culture or traditional ceremony show from a different country, such as South Africa, China, or Guatemala. On our days off we went to explore the some of the beautiful places like Sierra National Forest and the Yosemite National Park, both these places are absolutely beautiful – I think two of the most beautiful places that I have ever seen.
I feel that I am so lucky to meet all these amazing people, more then 100 of them from over the world, it is not easy to get to meet big group of people who have the same belief. It was amazing feeling to get to talk, to sing, to dance, to discuss, to play, to share, to learn, to join with any of the activities with all of them.
Going to America made me feel I wanted to travel more. I also feel that people in America have hope and belief that they can achieve – that is not how people are in Cambodia – they do not know where they can go (most of us). It would be really good for us to have hope and dream and know where we are going.
The leadership skills I learnt helped me with planning, organizing, and coordinating for my job with PEPY tours and learning first aid made me more confident in case anything happened I could save people in accidents.
At the end I would like to say very deep thanks to PEPY that gave me this opportunity, the Dragon team for having me there and organize such the amazing training, my friends Rob and Beth for sponsoring my flight, and all of the Dragon instructors for being so nice, friendly, helping, sharing and inspiring and all the PEPY 'ers and friends who help to arrange, organize and prepare for this trip and made this trip happen.