Ever since S21, we have worked with two new organizations. Friends International and Egbok are organizations that focus on child empowerment through educational training, employment training and offers resources to families in need. Egbok stood out to me the most because I was able to interact with the students they were helping. I spent a day with Egbok to learn more about the organization.
It was very heart warming to know that young people are being motivated to pursue a better life in a poor community. The students vary from the ages of 18-24, in total there are about 100 students. That day the students taught me traditional dance and how to cook dishes. While making our dishes, I noticed there was a bug tasting station. On the table I saw dried beetles, silk worms, water bugs, snake, crickets, frog and even a tarantula!
I was nervous about these insects and wondered why they were there! Shortly after staring down at these bugs, I was offered a whole slimy silk worm. I was hesitant to accept the offer but I did not want to disrespect the students so I accepted the bug. The bug I had the most trouble eating was the big hairy tarantula. I was a little disgusted so I made sure to hold my breathe as I ate the insects. Honestly, it was not that bad.
I was aware that these insects are a traditional Cambodian snack. I have never consumed insects since it is not apart of my culture. At first sight I was repelled by the insects but after eating them, I felt proud that I stepped out of my comfort zone. After the food tasting, I practiced my Camai and they practiced English with me, we had a dance party and a nice dinner. It was so much fun to learn about the students and their schooling through Egbok.
I am currently in Chang Mai, Thailand and is amazing here! I appreciate the break from the heat. Tomorrow we are leaving Chang Mai and will be traveling to a rural community to dig right into our program. I will be staying with a home-stay family for five days in which I will learn Thai and connect with our host families.