Young Buddhist monks take a break among the ancient walls of Angkor Wat.
Young Buddhist monks take a break among the ancient walls of Angkor Wat.

Peacework Medical had its inaugural clinic in southern Cambodia in January and February 2009. The gentle spirit of the Cambodian people made us feel at home in this uniquely foreign place.

We  returned in January and February 2010, and our final clinic was in Jan/Feb 2011.  The efforts created a wonderful opportunity to serve; we were met with the  spirit of hard work and shared cultural experience that always makes a project successful. The sense of gratitude was mutual for the US and the Khmer people.
 
We did not do this alone - our Khmer colleagues were with us every step of the way. We will keep them in our hearts wherever Peacework Medical goes in the world.

The US team would be outnumbered by Khmer helpers and volunteers every year!  They interpreted, organized, cooked, and drove us around. It was a great example of shared effort and common goals. It made this proiect the success that it was.

We saw 300 or more patients daily who live communally in a pagoda. The pagoda is also home to a monastery and a Buddhist temple.  This was our campsite and the base for our clinic.

The thousands of people who live in the surrounding 17 villages have extremely limited access to health care and health education, and they have sought our assistance with open arms. They came to the pagoda where we stayed to receive health education and our primary care services. We could not have felt more welcome.

Our tourist trip took to the stunning Angkor Wat, one of the man made wonders of the world. Also, the history of this country will become clear when visiting the Royal Palace , followed by the museum detailing the somber legacy of the Khmer Rouge and Pol Pot. Our volunteers understand this country better by visiting the tourist sites, but nothing compares to living and working among the people we serve.

 


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