Growing up reading Harry Potter, I found it fascinating that one of the Weasley family’s daily household chores was feeding chickens – something unfamiliar to us living in urban Singapore. Spending five days in the village of Takeo showed me a whole new world. It was refreshing to engage with children whose faces aren’t hidden behind screens – which is quite typical in Singapore. They were friendly and sociable, even with ‘strangers’ like us. When participating in the craft and game activities or sampling our Singapore snacks, we could sense the children’s joy, excitement and gratitude. This warmed our hearts immensely. Simple things lifted their mood. They didn’t seem to own very much, but they were constantly happy. It made us realise that affluence and technology can impact our lives, in both good and not-so-good ways. Having plenty makes us take things for granted. We forget to appreciate the things and people around us. For example, after agonising over the lack of Internet connectivity, we saw that it really wasn’t a necessity. Just like the urge to constantly check our phones, these habits keep us from meaningfully engaging with people and ourselves. By ‘disconnecting’, we found ourselves venturing to try new things – like joining mini-expeditions to explore our surroundings! By the fifth day, I was in love with life in the village. I hope to visit Takeo again. Who knows, I may even retire there one day! Ang Yip Zao, Young Adult