PEPY Tours in the Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Awards
Last month Eric Lewis and Chor Choch traveled to Singapore to join the Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Awards, where PEPY Tours was a finalist. Read Eric’s speech about PEPY Tours and the lessons we have learned here: https://lessonsilearned.org/2010/10/defining-success/
We also wanted to share a wonderful letter we received from a recent trip chaperone. We are very appreciative of his kind words.
I am sure that Kari will reply, as will Julie. Yet, clearly, both Kari and I left Siem Reap having been very moved by our friendships with you, Yut and Maria and by the beauty and courage of the Cambodian people. Although I normally do not suffer from a loss for words, it is truly a challenge to find the words to express how important this trip was for me, both as a social studies teacher and as someone who has a tremendous affection for Asia, its people and history. This experience was more revealing and significant for me than any other experience I have had in Asia, and I’ve been here since 1997. Of course, the students were equally impacted, and this is all attributable to PEPY’s passion and commitment.
As you have mentioned, and as we discussed during the trip, PEPY’s goal of emphasizing the centrality of education to all positive change is very much in line with our own School-wide Learning Results. Beyond that, I continue to be fascinated by the extent to which Ton Le Sap impacts Cambodian lifestyle and culture. I can think of no example in the world that better demonstrates the fragile inter-relationship between man and his physical environment, a concept on which ISKL places much emphasis. I see our respective goals as so closely aligned that continued collaboration is a “slam dunk”, as I like to say.
Finally, Eric, please accept my most sincere and heartfelt gratitude for being so complete and accessible a guide. You were there for us in all ways that we needed you: from your wonderful rapport with the kids, your energy, patience and expertise, to your camaraderie to me and Kari. Those are certainly not standard features of all tour leaders. Much of that comes from within you personally. That is the kind of man you are, and neither PEPY nor you (or Maria or Yut) will soon be forgotten. You now have very special places in our hearts, as do the Cambodian people.
I look forward to hearing from you in the coming months and, ultimately, to repeating our wonderful adventure next October with the next group of intrepid young men and women.
I owe you an article. I’ll get it done as soon as I can. Lots of ideas to get on paper…all thanks to you bro.
High School Modern Languages and Social Studies
International School of Kuala Lumpur