Ever since our first visit to Siem Reap, it's been a dream of mine and John's to help out in a "real way" in Cambodia that would make a long term difference in people's lives. After our very first visit to Siem Reap, we realized that the people of Cambodia captured our hearts, and that someday we wanted to do something more than visit and tour the temples. Our desire to help was cemented during our second trip back to Cambodia when we visited back in April and we started on our mission to find out how we could help. Building a well came to be the thing for us that we really wanted to do. Not as easy as you think as there are so many organizations claiming to be able to help, but as in every country there are some that are legit and others that are not. I noted the names of quite a few and then did my research when I returned to India. Finally, I was able to locate a wonderful organization that I felt good about hooking up with. So, on this third trip back we were finally able to realize that little dream of "building a well in Cambodia". But it is time to fess up friends, we "sponsored" a water well to be built in Cambodia, we didn't build it ourselves. Although I would like to take credit for digging the well site and building the well itself, all we did was source a legitimate organization to locate an area in need, and secure the that this project would come to fruition. As it only takes two (2) people to dig the well, we would have just gotten in the way, and I'm happy to say that all cost involved in the sponsorship of the well went right back into the community. It paid those two well diggers/builders to make the well, it paid another person to build the sign, and the water well will feed water to 43 people in that particular area in Balang (small village outside Siem Reap). Cost of this well sponsorship also enabled us to visit a village school and purchase fruit to be distributed to the children who attended. We were told that most kids in the village areas come from very poor families and fruit is a luxury that most can't afford. The fruit we distributed the day of our school visit was a treat that they would most likely only have about once a month, and it was so great for us to make that happen. It also gave us an opportunity to take and give out pictures to those children whose families don't own cameras and don't get to take a zillion pics a day. We got to experience a real Cambodia classroom and the lesson of the day was about learning good hygiene, particularly dental. Finally, a few days later, we were able to go out and see "our well", though the best part was getting to meet some of the villagers who will benefit from the well and hand out clothes to the area children who were in need. Everyone says that it's such an awesome thing that we did, but what we did, what we do... is so little on the scale of things that can be done and we will continue to try and do little things that make a difference. My friend Erika totally got Cambodia……caught her using one of her feelings towards kids who go to school half a day then work the other half (till they meet their quotas for the evening). She gave them each their quota for the day without taking anything from them in return, and sent them home to rest up for school. Erika made lifelong friends with that gesture and proved to me that she just might have more than "two feelings"...(inside joke). There are little things small things that we do when we visit, we buy school shoes, book bags, and just help kids who are going to school and also trying to help out their families with donations. We would like to continue to visit Cambodia and build more wells, though we are also looking to sponsor children for higher education. The vast majority of children do not receive any further education beyond grade 9. We just try to put money into the community and the water well project was just something that we are hoping will inspire others to know that desire to help those less fortunate is all you need to to make things happen. These small gestures are so worth the effort and not hard to accomplish. Knowing that there are people in the world in which you truly have made a contribution to their well being....well that my friends is a wonderful feeling.