I must first apologise for the overly grey sentiment of the previous blog; we were gifted with some glorious sun this week on an island that rivals Paradise itself. But we can get onto that later. First, we’ll mull over the events of our final week of work.

Let Us Create is a truly wonderful grass roots NGO and we honestly could not think of a better place to spend our final days of work. The labour was varied; nursery work, english classes, meal preparation, trips to the beach and pagoda, art classes and community work such as litter picking. The varied schedule allowed us a wonderful insight into the vast impact that LUC has on the local community through its range of schemes and projects. Art class was a real highlight, allowing us to flex our (in some cases long-dormant) creative muscles along with the kids, whose work was really astonishing. Another hit was our stint at girls club when Mel led us all in a dance workshop, hip-hopping to Jason Derulo (where once more we were put to shame by these multi-talented children). On our departure we were surprised with cake and confetti: the perfect way to end our volunteer work in Cambodia. Every project has taught us something different and we’re all so grateful for the opportunity to be out here, meeting terrific people, and hopefully helping a little along the way.

Schools out!

Schools out!

Just when we thought that our project had hit its peak, full of cake and with confetti and silly string still in our hair we headed for Koh Rong Samloem to spend our final weekend with the girls on the fabled white sands of the islands in the Gulf of Thailand.

Sitting on Saracen Bay was the first time that I ever really felt what it was like to be in a postcard. It was almost like our vision had been photoshopped, it was so gorgeous. With the ‘spiritual guidance’ of our barman, Will, we explored the bay on some kayaks. A trip which pushed the peak even higher. Sitting on rock formations reminiscent of Halong Bay, watching the schools of jumping fish leap out of the water in perfect sync with the iridescent bodies reflected on the plane of the water: it was wondrous. Kayaking back, we looked over our shoulders to see the pinky-orange glow of the sunset over the mangroves and were simultaneously led by the stark light from the reflection of the moon to our front, pasted on a backdrop of violet and royal blue. We were not just living the life of one postcard, but the lives of a whole book of them.

Paradise

Paradise

Having risen for one final sunrise over the bay, visible from the open front of our beach bungalow, we lamented the paucity of hours remaining, not only in the vision of paradise, but with each other; the times of the Birds of Paradise was coming to a far more final end.

We don’t bid farewell until tomorrow, so I shan’t get too sentimental yet, but I know I’m speaking for us all when I say ‘the trip of a lifetime’ doesn’t begin to cover it. It’s been totally amazing, and although we’re excited to get home and see everyone, it’s a double-edged sword that will doubtless cause a few tears at the final parting of the Birds. We may be back in England but we’ll never forget to ‘stay hydrated and stay safe’.

Hugs and kisses and wishes for safe travel home,
Beth
xoxo