The overseas trips offered at San Sisto College help promote both language skills and cultural awareness in our students. These excursions run every alternate year when enough students warrant.
The trip included five San Sisters, six Emmaus College (Jimboomba) students and three teachers. Starting the trip Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, the students soaked up the new culture with walking tours by knowledgeable guide Brian, followed by a bus tour with 'Mr Heavy', a local man with endless enthusiasm for his country.
After crossing the border into Cambodia, the first stop was the St Augustine's Parish in Kampot. The students spent time with the local children from Sister Mary Ange's school, as well as, planting mangroves to ensure a sustainable food source for the local community. The next stop was Takeo Province. The group stayed with Father Fernando's Kirivong community at the Holy Trinity Parish, then stayed at St Francois School where the students participated in classes and play with the younger students.
Day 10 was emotionally challenging for the students as the day involved visiting the Toul Sleng Genocide Museum and Choeng Ek Killings Fields in Phnom Penh. The last few days were spent in Siem Reap exploring breathtaking temples at Angkor and bartering at the local markets.
The journey was all about experiencing a cross-cultural immersion, in particular the different culture, food and life issues that people of the majority world face each day. As well as being able to form relationships with, and learn from, each other how we might share those resources we each have in disproportionate abundance. Along with gaining an understanding of how in two places of such horrific history – Vietnam and Cambodia – the people have endured.
The trip also included five other students and three teachers from Emmaus College in Jimboomba.
The trip focused on experiencing and exploring the countries of Cambodia and Vietnam, with the opportunity to visit churches, kindergartens and schools. A core element of the journey was about spending days living within a community and engaging with local people in a village context to experience life as they live it. The main aim of the trip therefore is to walk in the footsteps of Jesus and experience what everyday life is like for the people of Cambodia.