How Not to be an Ignorant Backpacker
What you're too Drunk to See
The video I've linked below really touched me because it gave me a giant slice of reality while chillin' on the beaches in Thailand, and volunteer teaching illegal Cambodian migrant children English. I had known that, like all people who had left their home country for another, they were looking for a better life. What I didn't completely register is how bad the parents of my adorable little Cambodian children's lives were before coming to Thailand. The linked video gave me a direct visual of what some the economic conditions were like in parts of Cambodia.
I guess it was bad enough that they would risk being without documents and too scared to put their children in real Thai schools from fear of being discovered. Hence the school I volunteered at was unofficial. It was set up by a Dutch charity organization to give these kids some sort of education rather than sit on the construction sites of their parents or cause mischief as teenagers. (If you are interested in volunteering on an Island in the sun, they welcome people and I self-designed my own ESL program. No training required. Contact me.)
It's ridiculously easy to ignore the plight of the people we come across in Southeast Asia and to get mad at them when they overcharge Westerners for their little trinkets they sell, or hassling us to no end for some non-sense. In order not to be an ignorant traveler, it is necessary to understand.
I know my blog is about being as cheap as possible while traveling, but I just thought it was important to remind people that outside the buckets of Sam Song we have our head so far stuffed in, some people are busting their bacon to make ends meet. I'm also aware we've all heard it before, that we're lucky and that's how it is blah blah. I'm just saying..in between your Tom Yum soup be aware of what's going on around you!
This video is about Internally Displaced People in Cambodia. Sorry I couldn't post it on the page. I wasn't sure how to.
Ps. Don't be this guy.
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Great post, and an awesome reminder. I just volunteered at an orphanage in Cambodia and its definitely important to keep all your paradigms in line, especially when you're tempted to snap at a pestering tuk tuk driver. Great site.ReplyDelete