Do Good As You Go

Do Good As You Go

Delivering laptops to a tiny village in the Cardamom Mountains in Cambodia, on motorcycles.

Seeing the world on two wheels is a privilege I am eternally grateful for. From the seat of a motorcycle, you become part of the landscape, not a mere observer of it. Doing so makes you vulnerable to the elements, the heat, cold, humidity, rain, wind, volcanic ash, and delicious sunshine and flowers. More importantly, it makes you vulnerable to the people and affords an exchange of goodwill that isn’t normally derived from air travel or guided tours.

I’ve been the recipient of such goodwill over and over again during my travels in North and Central America. One time I got bad gas, (the kind that goes in your tank, not the belly kind) and was offered help by a traveling motorcycle race team, a family going on vacation, and a nuclear physicist who happened by and was kind enough return with his motorcycle mechanic to fix my ailing KLR. This was in a poor, rural part of Mexico, near Veracruz.


To continue my work as an eLearning developer as I travel to the places in the world that “call my name”, I’ve been researching co-working spaces. One of the biggest hubs for digital nomads is Thailand where multiple co-working spaces have cropped up, offering living accommodations, high-speed internet, beaches and some even offer meals.

It was while doing this research that I noticed a DGAYG ambassador, Brad Ringstmeier, posting about his up-coming return to Cambodia to visit his friend Lim, a man with a mission to live in service of his family, his village and others who pass through. Lim is an educator and community leader in his village in Cambodia. The main income in the Osoam Cardamom Community of 380 families, is agriculture and collecting forest products

Photo by Brad Ringstmeier Lim and his family

 

Photo by Brad Ringstmeier

The Cambodian government logged a large part of the jungle in this area in order to build a dam and flood the reservoir. The impact on the Villagers of Osoam is far-reaching, leaving them to find another means of eking out a life in the Cardamom Mountains, where tourism is a possible alternative to their former life.

Lim has taken on the task of managing three volunteer programs, one for a tourism service, one for organic farming and one for education—English language and computer education classes. His contribution for helping the Osoam area cope with the change that has befallen them. Find out more about Lim’s efforts in this video created by Brad.

Thailand had been calling me, but now Cambodia is calling louder! I went through the process of becoming a Muskoka Volunteer with the Do Good as You Go program, and found myself on the small team of independent motorcycle travelers heading into the Cambodian Cardamom mountains in November!

Photo by Brad Ringstmeier

Since then the trip has blossomed into a full-fledged mission. My time in Guatemala exposed me to the Rachel system, a self-contained intranet that allows internet-style access to the curriculum on a small wifi system. With the timelines edging closer, I immediately ordered the system to bring to Cambodia. This spurred the team into searching for laptops to bring and Lim got access to electricity! Previously he had been charging electrical items overnight with a generator. Before long we were gifted the necessary laptops from a company in the United States.

We are still working out the logistics, how to get operating systems for the computers, and how to get them to Cambodia! The group is renting motorcycles to deliver them to Lim in the jungle. It will be my first adventure in SE Asia, and I am looking forward to seeing this part of the world and doing good as I go! Any suggestions please contact me at tammy@elearningva.com.

Stay tuned for updates!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: