Many of you have asked for a snap shot of what a day in the life of a volunteer on this project looks like, so I’ve pulled together a brief description below. Essentially, we have a weekly roster which rotates through all of the tasks required to keep the hut and the volunteers functioning. These tasks include cooking (breakfast, lunch and dinner) always over an open fire and coals, washing dishes after each meal, general housekeeping, labouring at the school site and teaching 2 hour workshops to the kids (six workshops each week shared by all volunteers). Here is what the daily schedule generally looks like:
6am – Wake up and cook breakfast
7am – Eat Breakfast (rice, eggs or noodles & vegetables)
7:20am – Wash dishes
7:30am – Ride 4kms to school site on our bicycles
8am – Begin work on site (painting, concreting, bending steel, levelling floors, carrying rocks & sand etc)
11am – Ride 4kms back to the hut and cook lunch
12pm – Eat lunch (rice or noodles and vegetables) & wash dishes
1pm – Ride back to school and lead 2 hour workshop or continue building
4:30pm – Ride back to the village and prepare for dinner
6pm – Eat dinner on the beach watching the sunset (rice or noodles and vegetables followed by fruit for dessert)
6:30pm – Wash dishes
7pm – Usually lie on the beach looking at the endless expanse of stars, read or play guitar and sing
8pm – Prepare materials for tomorrow’s workshops
9:30pm – Sleep
As you can see, there’s not a whole lot of down time during the week, but each weekend we have the option of travelling to a different part of Cambodia to explore, relax, sleep in a bed and have an internet connection to catch up with loved ones at home. It’s a way of life I’ve never experienced before but we adjust more with each day and it doesn’t take long to appreciate the small things we take for granted at home such as light, electricity and a bed. It really is a simple existence and I’m learning a lot every day.
This is a list of the compulsory, medial tasks we are required to perform. What I haven’t mentioned here are the countless laughs, hugs and smiles interspersed between each of these activities and these are – in my view – the most important reasons we are here.
So, there it is folks! A day in the life of a Baby Tree Projects volunteer.