I’m back from Cambodia!

My medical mission trip to Cambodia was awesome! This trip finished off my medical school experience, and I’ll now be heading off to residency in family practice in just a few months. This trip was really special because I got to share it with about 30 other classmates whom I’ve become very close to over the last 4 years. We stayed in a very impoverished and remote area of Cambodia and set up free medical clinics for people who, for the most part, receive no medical care whatsoever. One of our main objectives, aside from treating their medical problems, was to spread Christianity in an area where Buddhism is the predominant religion. It was truly eye-opening to live and work in such poor conditions where the luxuries we take for granted here in the U.S. – like good food, clean water, air conditioning, and good sanitation – are scarce to nonexistent. It was also extremely inspiring to actually connect with these people – to see them cry, to make them smile and laugh, to comfort them, to pray with them, and to touch their lives in a way they will never forget. I also had the chance to spend a day doing children’s ministry, which was definitely one of the highlights for me. That particular day we set up our clinic in the most remote area of our entire trip, and I had the chance to play games and interact with about 40 beautiful Cambodian children – outside in about 90-degree weather no less! I have never blown up so many balloons in my entire life, nor have I ever seen children (and their parents) become so enthralled by something so simple. We taught them some basic English words and American games like duck-duck-goose, sang songs, played games with a beach ball and tennis balls, and gave out medicines and “gospel bracelets” – all without speaking their language! Of course I had to throw some gymnastics into the experience (the universal language!), so I taught several of them how to do cartwheels and also chased them around while walking on my hands. I have never been so dirty and sweaty in my entire life, but seeing the smiles on the faces of children who have literally NOTHING that our children here in America have was well worth it.

I have also made it a tradition to take handstand pictures in every country that I visit. I already have some from Bulgaria, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and The Czech Republic, and on this trip I added some cool ones from Bulgaria. As soon as I get them on the computer I’ll post them – assuming they turn out well! I try to take them in special places – something that represents the country and incorporates a cool background and possibly even a little danger… They make for some awesome memories and souvenirs of every country I visit!

I’m ready to start blogging again, so I’ll be putting up some thoughts today on the upcoming American Cup for both the men’s and women’s sides. I hope everyone has had a great couple of weeks, and it’s great to be back!