Posted by Megan Kraa, 25 October, 2016

They say laughter is the best medicine, and I would have to agree. I am sure that’s one of the many reasons the team make physiotherapy and play sessions so much fun, because it truly is good for the soul. And believe me when I say this team knows how to laugh, and it’s certainly infectious to everyone they encounter.

The ‘play’ programs are full of colour, smiles, laughter, games and activities. Only half way through the hour program our team are exhausted, the combination of heat and constant moving around is enough to make anyone fatigue, but not the Cambodian kids. They continue on while our team continue to laugh and encourage the kids from the sidelines.

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This project visit we have three play coordinators, Ada, Deb and Jo. The three ladies have raised significant funds for Open Heart International’s work here in Cambodia. It is always inspiring to see people who are willing to raise money for a cause that they have only heard about through others, and have never had the full experience for themselves… until now.

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“It was initially difficult with the barriers at first… but gradually, we have all warmed up and learnt how to communicate with body language and it is very rewarding playing with the children and seeing them smile” – Ada Poon

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“It is certainly an overwhelming experience… what stands out is the peoples gratefulness, smiling faces, gentleness, respect and the patience of the parents waiting around… simply being a part of it is everything I had thought it would be and more! We have now experienced that face-to-face element in which we had only seen in photos, but now those photos have come to life and there is that emotional side to it. Actually being here and immersed in it is a totally different story. I am so proud of this organisation, Open Heart International and to be a part of it” – Deb McKay

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“I think it’s a humbling experience landing in a group of superheroes… I feel in awe of the entire medical team’s extraordinary expertise and boundless capacity to give, their generosity of spirit and effortless ability to work together despite flying in from all over the globe. I have this sense of wonder to be able to participate and am very proud of the work the team does, they are up for it all, come what may, giving blood, performing difficult, lifesaving surgery, making tough decisions, there is a strong light shining on this whole project and everyone involved is illuminated. I am so grateful to be able to contribute.” Jo Hyde

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These are all words that have been thrown around by the newbies… and it is only day three! There is some method in the madness to the play sessions. The first goal is for the children to feel comfortable interacting and being around the Australian team. For many who have travelled from regional areas of Cambodia, the Australians can be overwhelming and scary! After surgery, getting active again as quickly as possible aids and quickens the recovery.

Tags:  Cambodia,