Monday, November 30, 2009
Passports With Purpose: Help Build a School in Cambodia
Sometimes the universe hurdles us in a certain direction. One week ago I returned from an amazing but too short trip to Cambodia at the tail end of a Lonely Planet research gig through Thailand. I mostly did the tourist stuff on my short vacation - visited Angkor Wat and made a brief stop in Phnom Penh - but I was incredibly touched by unencumbered kindness of the people. Somehow the history of the country seems to resonate through them yet they're coming out of the dark ages and that fills the air with an inspiring positivity. It's intense, there's no other way to describe it. Cambodia is a much poorer country than Thailand and stray children, needy people and landmine victims are omni-present. In Phnom Penh I was lucky enough to spend an evening with a group of expats - every one of them involved in some sort of NGO or aid program. The experience made me want to pack up my life in Tahiti and do something more useful with my life. I was dreaming about how I could make it back to Cambodia the second I was on the plane - rarely has such a short visit charmed and haunted me so much.
Today I came across an opportunity not to go back to Cambodia but to at least give something back. The annual Passports With Purpose fundraiser is supporting American Assistance for Cambodia (AAfC) this year with a goal to raise $13,000 to build a rural school. The AAfC has already built 400 schools throughout the country as well as other actions aimed at improving opportunities for the youth and rural poor in Cambodia.
This is how you can help: travel bloggers like me offer a prize and blog about the fundraiser to encourage people to bid on the many available prizes from myself and other bloggers. My prize is an A-grade round Tahitian pearl from Kamoka Pearl Farm worth $200 mailed to your doorstep anywhere in the world. By making a $10 donation you can bid on the pearl as well as all sorts of other great stuff from brand name travel packs and camcorders to stays at hotels in major American cities. One hundred percent of the donations go to the AAfC. You can bid from today to December 21st 2009.
So please, click over to the Passports With Purpose website and enter to win! There is really no way to loose on this.
I'll be posting a picture of the pearl as soon as I can - hopefully within the next week. In the meantime you can check out where it comes from at www.kamokapearls.com.