Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Headed to Cambodia

This summer, I decided to take on a new kind of challenge. I'll be going on a public health internship to Cambodia to research and provide service. We will be working with two organizations, Reproductive and Child Health Alliance (RACHA) and Pillows for Peace. RACHA focuses on serving maternal and child health by providing and improving prenatal care, vaccinations, prevention and control against infectious diseases, nutrition, etc. Pillows for Peace is a program based out of Israel, that educates people on microfinance and gives people of this war-torn country the opportunity to finally build their own homes.

I chose Cambodia because I've always wanted to see the country my parents come from and see the places I heard them talking about growing up. Whenever they told us stories, they would reminisce with such fondness of the good times they had with their families even through those really difficult times of poverty, hunger, fear, and stress. It was hard to grasp as a child the things they went through during that period of genocide of their people, but I'm hoping this internship will provide me with the opportunity to get a better glimpse of that.

I have been quite nervous and worried about this internship because of a few different reasons, each related to my wheelchair circumstance like getting up several flights of stairs everyday at RACHA, accommodations at my host family's, getting around town, traveling, etc. It's sort of scary to think about. After I read this quote,

"If we will be prayerful, seeking wisdom from God, who is the source of all true wisdom,
we shall be blessed as God has promised.
Our Father has made explicit covenants with His people.
He is in a position to keep those covenants.
We have nothing to fear if we stay on the Lord's side."
-President Gordon B. Hinckley

I realized He has been with me every step of the way and I've done my best to be faithful and do as I feel prompted to. I feel that things have fallen into place over time and that this internship was something that He brought into my path. Therefore, if I put my trust in the Lord and align my will with His, He will bless me and things will work out hopefully better than I expect it to. It'll be a challenge, but I'm confident things will turn out fine especially since my boyfriend and friends will be there. 

We just got our tickets to Cambodia and here we are with our passports in hand. Adventure awaits us in Southeast Asia and I'm looking forward to lots of them, both mundane and spectacular.  I'm excited for the things I'll get to learn and experience this summer. I can't wait to see the ancient Angkor Wat, visit my extended family, eat tropical fruits and delicious traditional cuisines, further my language skills, and meet new people. This is will be the adventure of a lifetime!

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