A group 13 including 9 Rotarians and partners travelled to Cambodia in February 2020 to view the hospitals we have been supplying with medical equipment and make contact with the hospital senior staff.  We also of course set out to have fun, which we certainly did.  The trip was a great success, provided considerable inspiration and cemented contacts that should benefit the project.
The primary purpose of the tour was to visit the hospitals.  We visited five hospitals in total, the Siem Reap Referral Hospital, and then the Russian (formally known  as the Khmer Soviet Friendship Hospital), Kossamak (formally known as the Cambodia-China Friendship Preah Kossamak Hospital), Kampong Speu and Centre of Hope Sihanouk Hospitals in Phnom Penh, and were welcomed warmly by the hospital managers.
We were all amazed to learn of the considerable contribution we have made to the hospitals there.  We had been previously told by Dr. Tim Keenan that our contribution was substantial, and this became very evident on visiting the hospitals.  In some of the new wards, almost all of the equipment was supplied by Rotary, predominantly by the Osborne Park Club. 
In Pip’s words, “Seeing nine years of effort of collecting and sending hospital and medical equipment to Cambodian hospitals and witnessing the assistance we are providing public patients, has been very gratifying. It ratified our Rotary motto, Service Above Self.  
Whilst the conditions in the local hospitals has been greatly enhanced by our shipment, they are still in great need of support.  The use of improvised slings to support orthopedic patients, and the sight of a child on a drip in a hammock outside the building testifies to this.  As Ray observed, “Like a lot of third world countries, the great divide between wealth and poverty was very evident e.g. one gold Buddha statue made of gold was worth $6 million, yet there are people living in tin sheds. The hospital visits were very confronting.”
Following a tour of the Russian Hospital, one of the ones we have we have contributed a lot to, the hospital Director Professor Ngy Meng, who presented us with a Certificate of Appreciation for our contribution at a ceremony in their board room.  We in turn presented them with a certificate in appreciation for the time the doctors donate to the hospital without payment.  A similar certificate of appreciation was given to Professor Bunn Duong and the staff at the Kossamak Hospital, who also donate their time. 
As Mike observed, “The trip was very rewarding, to see where our hard work in collecting all the medical equipment etc. and seeing it’s going to a worthy cause in Cambodian Hospitals, makes you feel good.”   Terry also observed that “it was so rewarding to visit the hospitals, where the medical equipment is installed and in use. When I look back at the many hours taken to collect the equipment, store it in our container and repack it into the shipping container, I feel very proud of this wonderful project, particularly after visiting Cambodia.”
It was not all hospital business of course, we also visited the usual tourist sites and had lots of fun.  In Siem Reap we visited the amazing Angkor Wat, which is considered one of the seven wonders of the world, and were impressed by the substantial facilities constructed by the Khmer Empire some 900 years ago.  The standard of construction and extensive carvings testify to a very advanced civilization. 
A visit to Siem Reap would not be complete without a stopover at Pub Street, where some of our group were delighted to see for beer for 50 Cents a glass!  The numerous restaurants in the area provided some great food.
While in Siem Reap we took a boat tour to one of the many floating villages on the Tonle Sap lake where up to 80,000 Cambodians live predominantly making their living from fishing.  The lake varies in size from 2,5002 km up to 16,0002 km by the end of the wet season.
In Phnom Penh we visited the Royal Palace and Killing fields.  Having got to know a few Cambodians, and how gentle and respectful they are, Ray found “The Killing fields was difficult to come to terms with what Cambodians did to fellow Cambodians.”
Cambodian food is delicious, and we all enjoyed many a great meal, sometimes with a bit too much wine.  As Terry said, “We enjoyed wonderful fellowship and lots of laughs from all the group. The trip was very well organized.”
Debra Waters, a friend of Rotary, who has been a good supporter of this project, accompanied us for most of the trip including the hospital visits and social outings and thoroughly enjoyed the trip with the Rotarians. “I was very impressed by their collegial, friendly and fun attitude in the time I spent with them. I had a lot of fun in their company. It was good to see all the equipment donated by WA hospitals via the Rotary project. I loved the way the officials and staff of all the hospitals welcomed us, were extremely grateful and were proud to show us their hospitals.  I felt proud to be a part of the tour!!  It emphasised to me the hard work Rotarians do and why I wanted to join and be a part of rotary.”  Following the trip, Debra applied and joined the Club. 
Many humorous happenings occurred during the time, some of them captured in a farewell poem written by Trevor, see below  As he said “Angkor Wat was on my bucket list for many years – thank you Alan for organizing a great trip”.  
A is for Alan – Thanks for a tour we’ll remember for all TIME
B is for Bev – Don’t worry her leg will soon be as good as yours and MINE
C is for Cambodia – you should come here if you CAN
D is for David – A dedicated Rotarian MAN
E is for Evident that our tour was a great THRILL
F is for Fall – our Terry fell down a HILL
G is for grateful – we are for our Aussie way of LIFE
H is for hospital – we saw hundreds in STRIFE
I is for important – to consider your fellow MAN
J is for Joan – she had to tend her sick MAN
K is for Kangaroo – Mike had to give AWAY
L is for lifestyle – do your best every DAY
M is for Mike and Marina – a special part of the Osborne Park CREW
N is for Nothing – they wouldn’t do for YOU
P is for Pip – he’s been here before, probably come AGAIN
Q is for Questions – we had quite a FEW
R is for Ray – a special man, he’d do anything for YOU
S is for Sandra – I hear Alex call her HONEY
T is for Trevor – looked after the meal MONEY
U is for unusual – some things here didn’t make SENSE
V is for Vivian – his camera was IMMENSE
W is for Walking stick – to help some on their WAYS
X is for excellent – for the whole lovely DAYS
Y is for youthful – most of us HERE
Z is for Zest for life – for 86 and a large bit of a YEAR.
Trevor Mills