Sophie Craig – Cambodia Expedition – 14 November 2017

The delightful and talented Sophie Craig, chaperoned by her dad Gary, was our guest speaker on Tuesday evening. Sophie had come to tell us all about her experience with Camp International in Cambodia, an expedition which our club had helped to support through the Treasure Chest fund. She described her trip as “the best thing I’ve ever done”.

Sophie had been inspired to apply for the expedition by a short film on the lives of ordinary Cambodians. The country had a troubled history and people today are still very poor, living close to nature and enjoying the simplest of existences. The days of the “killing fields” when the Khmer Rouge, under Pol Pot, carried out massive genocidal atrocities are remembered in the Cambodian museums which Sophie visited in Phnom Penh and described as a “sombre start” to her trip.

Two months of camp life with an “inspirational” camp leader saw Sophie involved in building latrines for the community. She and her cohorts were there to “make a difference” to the lives of the ordinary people and they also gave English lessons to the children, since fluency in English was key to creating opportunity in later life.

There was time, nonetheless for some out-of-camp activities and Sophie undertook a trekking adventure which served to cement her view that exciting teamwork could produce great results and to appreciate all that we have in the western world.

In his vote of thanks, Hugh Millar, acknowledged Sophie’s courage, altruism and presentation skills.