Suddenly remember Sze comment on the ‘New Water’ on Sunday… somehow it brings me back to my memory on what I have done this March…

Went to Siem Reap, Cambodia to join in a volunteer programme organised by Singapore International Foundation (SIF) – Water for Life this 12 – 16 March 2012… I was expecting it to be some easy ‘wayang‘(act of pretence) volunteer assignment, guess what? I experience something I never experienced before!!

It is really an eye opener for suan koo(ignorant people) like me…

Mission Day 1: As I reached Cambodia a day earlier, I went to walk around by myself (a bit shameful to say this at this age, but I really feel very excited to walk around by myself in a foreign country for the first time!) in the day and meet up with the team for dinner. Our project coordinator,Geraldine, has flown from Singapore office to look after the project and us 🙂 She gave the 6 of us some short briefing and try to answer our questions which we might not get to ask previously.

Mission Day 2:
On the first day we need to go down to the lab to learn the basic and also make the filters… it is tedious and require a lot of energy, mind you! Luckily my old bones are still in tact after the day….

The simple lab with all the necessary equipments

This is what the filter is made of… some simple science which I forgotten long time ago…

Kinai learning the basic and be the first to hands on

Gosh?! What is this? Semi auto machine to make the cement!

Every step is an important step to make a successful filter

Looking at colin’s facial expression you know it’s not a simple task…

Everything is not up to my expectation… haha…
after just half a day my hand has gone super dry and aching all over…

Mission Day 3:
Of course after making filters we need to go to the village to install these filters. We went to the lab again to clear up and pick up some stuffs… and off we go!

We need to clean the stones…

To clean the stones we need to get water… from the ‘well’?!
I was team with Elly so he need to do the bulk of hardwork, thanks to the staff from the lab who helped us out…

We need to wash the Course Gravel, Fine Gravel, and Sand, each 3 times…
Despite wearing the gloves sponsered by Colin, my hands still ache big time…

One of the families and their fish share the same water source. @[email protected]
Not sure if the fish is meant to be pet or food though….

See how dirty the water is when we first install the filter? It actually looks amazingly much cleaner by then end of the installation! The family can start drinking water from the filter in 21 days time 🙂

Our friendly translator, Bun Hak, taking photos with the family which we install the filter.

Look at the plate they use to serve food. There’s worm inside!
I hope they wash the plate before they serve food with it… but the water source they have been using is dirty! =.=”
Thanks god they now have the water filter which can provide cleaner water, provided that they will use from it.


Mission Day 4:
Some more installation and we went back to the lab for debrief, and sharing of experience…

You can always sign up for the volunteer opportunity through the website: http://www.sif.org.sg/siv/vacancy_details.php?id=14

It’s definitely useful to get some ‘durian hawker gloves‘ for the molding of the water filters and long dish washing gloves for the washing of gravel and sands. Some wet tissue will be good so you can clean up before meals in between at the village but don’t overuse them… the purpose is to learn from volunteering through the oversea trip, not to add on pollution/litters to the country.

Be prepared to save some cash though… you will need to pay for the flight, the accomodation, and some admin fee, I feel a bit painful as I need to fork out a bit more on the flight, but it’s because of my choice of date which falls on the school holiday T_T. Luckily the experience I went through makes the whole thing worth it, the people I teamed up with, the family I went to visit, the whole experience is unique and none of these can be bought with money. 🙂

P/S: Never, ever drink water directly from tap in Cambodia, as of today, their tap water are still not safe to be drink directly, at least boil it before drinking it yah~