Global Service Scholar: Qanita Jaleel
Country: Cambodia

A typical day in Cambodia starts out with a big breakfast consisting of a wide variety of fruit that I do not normally eat in the United States, such starfruit and dragon fruit. While at breakfast my fellow Global Service Scholars and I like to talk about what activities we have planned for the day and what we are going to work on at the Treak Community Center.

Once we’re done eating, we brace ourselves for a 15-minute tuk tuk ride to Treak Community Centre. At the school, our work day starts off with building eco-friendly bricks. We start by cutting up unrecyclable plastic, into small pieces, then mix cement, dirt and the plastic together until we get a paste like texture. We then grab the mixture and start to fill in the brick molds one at a time making sure there are no air bubbles. We wait for the cement mixture to dry and carefully remove the bricks. This process normally takes up the whole morning.

After an exhausting morning, we venture out and walk into town trying new exciting foods, talking to locals and trying to learn the language. After exploring this beautiful city, I head back to Treak Community Center where I spend the afternoon with children helping them improve their reading and writing skills by playing games, singing songs, doing worksheets and going over lessons. Once the lesson is over we go outside and play in the playground. If we’re lucky we can play outside for a while but most of the time it starts to rain so we have to continue playing inside.

Near the end the school day, we say the Cambodian anthem. I have a quick chat with the fellow Global Service Scholars about their days and we go back to the guest house. After a long day at the Treak Community Center I normally lie down for an hour and a half-check my email, do some work and take a nap.

After resting a bit I head into the city for some dinner. I normally go to the night market because there is just a wide variety of restaurants to eat from but my personal favorite has become the food carts. Not only are they cheaper than the restaurants, I feel as though the food carts have a more authentic flavor. After dinner I come home, take a nice cold shower to wash away all of the dirt and sweat, get into bed, facetime with my parents letting them know how my day was, set my alarm for the next morning and go to bed.