Inspired Words

These are the experiences of our volunteers in Cambodia.

June 6: Getting ready for our 2014 USAFA trip

Posted in Cambodia on June 6, 2014

Our 2014 USAFA Cultural Immersion Trip to Cambodia is generously funded by an endowment made possible by the USAF Academy Class of 1981 (Second to None!). I originally submitted a proposal to take five cadets to Rwanda this summer, during which time we would study the region, the nation, the Rwandan Genocide of 1994 (and earlier incidents), and then work with a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in a service role to learn more about he country and its people first-hand, as well as learn about the operation of NGOs in the developing world. Everything was set to go--we'd won the endorsement of the Class of '81 Selection Committee--but the US Embassy and Defense Attache's Office (DAO) in Kigali turned down our request for an official visit due to, in their words, political issues.

We quickly revectored our trip by contacting the NGO that we'd decided to work with (Developing World Connections). As it turns out, they have an operation in Cambodia as well as in several other nations, so I e-mailed the DAO in Cambodia and got a very warm welcome. In a matter of hours, they had tentatively approved our trip and we quickly changed our reading list's focus from East Africa to Southeast Asia.

Our cadets (more about them later) took all of this in stride and have done a lot of prep work since our early stumbles. We spent the Spring Semester reading about Cambodia, getting vaccinations, arranging flights, researching things to do and see in Cambodia, and acquainting ourselves with the on-site NGO with which we'll be working, Equitable Cambodia. We've also been communicating through our group Facebook Page and welcome all supporters of our trip to join us there to see our progress.

Marty France
USAFA Faculty Chaperone & DWC Volunteer
June 2014

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