The Day My Life Changed

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Sep 12


If you do a search for ‘the day my life changed’ you’ll get around 349,000,000 results. Now I don’t know about the other 348,999,999 but I can tell you when it happened for me.

Walking out of Phnom Penh Airport for the first time in 2010 I’d a feeling I would be a slightly different person when I next saw the airport, heading home. What I didn’t know was just how different.

A few days ago, I met the 2012 Safe Arrivals team. I’m not able to travel with them this year so it was a chance to still feel part of this incredible project. Listening to them talking excitedly about the upcoming trip and asking questions about the traditional birth attendants (TBAs) I was taken back to that day in 2010 when I first saw Cambodia.

I was asked for any tips for training, and that got me thinking about how to prepare someone for what they’re about to experience.

Here are a few tips:

  • Be ready to cry, you will hear stories of loss and desperation mixed with courage and survival
  • Be ready to laugh, you will find joy in the most unexpected places, with the most unexpected people
  • You are going there to train amazing groups of women but they will teach you much more about yourself
  • You will never see the world in quite the same way again and that isn’t a bad thing
  • Take time to savour those first moments in Phnom Penh – it will be the day life changes for you and not everyone gets to know when that is happening

(This article was written by Jodie Knoop, Safe Arrivals Trainer/Team Member 2009/2010 and South Australian Midwife)

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