NEW LIFE 11
Rachel, Matt and their Choice!
BY RHODES WATSON
WHAT do you do after spending years working around the clock looking after dogs and cats people entrust to you in your kennels? Perhaps because they are so tied down, the wanderlust must set in. Rachel Prins bought Yeppoon Boarding Kennels in Farnborough from Malcolm and Ronnie Blauel, who soon after set off for England, returned, bought a houseboat and then divided time between here and overseas. After Rachel and husband Matt Fitzgerald sold the kennels they, too, went on holiday. Matt’s daughter Gracie said recently that after Matt and Rachel sold the kennels they set off on their dream holiday, roaming Asia until they were tired or spent their money. After a month in Thailand Matt and Rachel headed to Phnom Penh, Cambodia and instantly fell in love with the country. They haven’t moved anywhere since.Rachel emailed that she enjoys the people, the freedom and the prices. “It is easy to live here and we found an apartment. I started Khmer lessons and so the journey really began. “While there is a lot of money in Cambodia, the poverty in the provinces is gut wrenching.”
Rachel said she decided to volunteer. “I researched to find a charity that wasn’t a scam.” She said to beware some orphanages. Rachel said she found a group called Choice she is happy with. “Ross Wright is the force behind Choice,” she said. “He works, unpaid, 24/7 with this charity. Please mention the choice website (www.choicecambodia.org) if anyone wants to donate cash. “If they come to Cambodia please come out for a day. “If anyone is a nurse, doctor or dentist please come just for a day to help! “If anyone is coming over bring old clothes, toothpaste, soap, combs, colouring- in books and crayons.” Early on, soon after they settled, Rachel found a sick puppy in a village. I paid $5 for her and took her to the vet. She was so tiny. Just a little bag of bones,” she said. “After two weeks battling her illness she finally came good and I named her Choice. “She now lives at the school with three of the teachers. “Choice is almost six months old, happy, healthy and has a great life surrounded by children, Khmer teachers and all the volunteers. She’s also bilingual!!
Rachel and Matt and the dog Choice, together with the children going home after a day at school. Rachel said “Because of Choice we have wonderful friends and feel good about our life. After all we all have a choice!”
DECEMBER 13, 2013 SPECTATOR NEWS MAGAZINE