You've read all about us but what is really like to volunteer with Matesabroad?

The stories below are open and honest, written by our volunteers and immersion students while away.  Many keep a blog of their journey, experiences and revelations.  Here is a sample of those.


September 2014


Marist Sisters College Woolwich

Today we were given the opportunity to further understand and immerse ourselves into the Cambodian culture. After an early breakfast we embarked on a journey experiencing the life of a villager. We left the comfort of our air-conditioned bus where we met with the humidity and heat of Cambodia.

Our journey truly began when we hopped on a wooden cart pulled by two buffalos. It was a bumpy ride with no defined road. It was three to a cart and we took in the scenery primarily consisting of houses made out of natural materials, rice fields and markets as we went through the bushes, went through water and bumped along.

After twenty minutes we arrived at our first house and met our first family. Despite the language barrier the exchange of smiles on both parties faces was clear. Following a quick look at the house where nine people lived in a very open and communal area we were sent to work. At first we were a bit terrified of the machete-like instrument that the Cambodians use to harvest rice but after a few cuts were ready to go. We harvested the rice of the entire field owned by the family and even though our backs were aching, our legs in knee deep water and we were sweating we were all glad that we finished and helped such a kind family.

October 2014


Marist Sisters College Woolwich

Today has definitely been one of my favourite days of the trip. It’s our second day at the community – Krang Angkrang Pei. After a night of experiencing Cambodia as a community member (including being woken up by a 5am rooster call) we had a breakfast of baguettes and spreads before a Khmer lesson with our translator, Linda, where we learnt how to count and make conversations with each other. 

After our one hour lesson our group split into two further groups. The other group went to learn how to make a traditional Khmer cake, while our group went to a beautiful old lady’s house where she taught us how to plait rope for a hammock from dried out water flower. I loved learning how to make a hammock it was really therapeutic. I could have honestly sat there all day and plaited hammock ropes. The lady also made us all plaited bracelets out of the dried flower.

After our hammock lesson came to an end we walked to another of the communities house where he spoke to us about life in Cambodia, ranging from how he met his wife to what he ate for breakfast. Next was a break for a lunch of baguettes and spreads (again!), some oranges and the best mango I’ve ever tasted. We then began our bicycle ride to a nearby community to teach some English lessons.