Posted on: January 17, 2014 Posted by: Manin Oem Comments: 0


pepyride9-19-croppedThe 9th annual PEPY Ride has come to a sweat-soaked and satisfying end. Participants have zipped across Cambodia, experienced Khmer culture, and learned about international development. Plus they’ve raised a whopping $7,500 to support PEPY’s youth empowerment programs. Way to go, PEPY Riders!

It all started in 2004, when Daniela Papi and Greta Arnquist began planning a cycling adventure across Cambodia to learn and contribute to education programs in the region. Four friends joined them and The PEPY Ride was born. 9 years later, PEPY Ride continues to support youth empowerment and supplementary education in Cambodia through fundraising and educational tourism.

pepyride9-15-croppedThavry is PEPY Ride’s first female Cambodian trip leader. Through sheer determination and indomitable self-belief, she has managed to complete this epic cycling journey. Here is what she has to say about the rewards and challenges along the way:

“Once along the way when we made a stop for a drink I arrived after the 6th person. One man was surprised to see a Khmer girl leading cycling for such a long ride. He laughed a bit and said, “You cycling with the foreigners, are you not tired to do such a thing?” He seems to think that all Khmer girls should just stay home and cook. Why are they not surprised to see my other two Khmer leaders on the trip too? He is also Khmer, or is it because he is a man? I said to him,” If boys can do it, girls can do it too!” After that, he said no more.

I am so grateful that we had great people in the group to cheer each other along and give each other support. Most of them had learned many things during the ride: culture, education, adventure, challenge themselves, fun, and making life-long new friends.

Here I am with ‘1 bike, 1,000km adventures.’ Who knows, I might inspire other girls to cycle across Cambodia.”

pepyride9-2-croppedPEPY Ride participant Vive, who works with youth back home in Canada, also shares what she’s learned:

“It confirmed the crucial step in listening and learning from the local community before investing in a community… because it is important that your passion corresponds to their need.

This trip also confirms that education and our time working with youth is the key to any positive change in the future. Everything we choose to do allows us be one step closer to our goal.

Cambodia has great history, culture, food and people. Cambodia is a great place to learn to open your heart and mind to embrace. Cambodia taught me about no matter how hard yesterday was or how challenging today is… tomorrow is always a new day. Thanks Cambodia.”

For more on PEPY Ride IX, check out our SlideShare presentation!

Want to learn more about responsible volunteering and win a 3-day stay in Cambodia? Enter the Learning Service video contest.