A snippet of MCC:
There are many opportunities for a variety of different activities including diving, underwater surveys, and other projects at Marine Conservation Cambodia. Everyday there are large amounts of work that gets done on the island itself, for example, recycling, beach cleanups, and organizing the dive shed.
It is unnecessary to pack 22 t-shirts. When it rains, it is very easy to do your laundry with rainwater in bins or you can take your laundry to the mainland for $1 a kilo. Other necessities would be a rash guard or two because you will spend lots of time diving and snorkeling!
I came with absolutely no diving experience. Within two days of my arrival, I was being taught how to dive, with little tricks about the area we were in. They provided the diving equipment and learning materials, but many people brought their own as well. We had a couple of volunteers who got ear infections from constant diving and they helped with creating a fishing community demographic census.
I brought malaria medication, but did not end up using it for more than a few days because there is a very small threat on the island. Everyone takes care to cover freshwater all the time and to keep an eye on puddles after the rain. I brought a biodegradable insect repellent and borrowed some other volunteer’s deet after the big rainstorms. Also a basic first aid kit would be good with Band-Aids, Neosporin and an ear rinse. The kids will find any excuse to use your Band-Aids if they are patterned, so keep that in mind.
It is very easy to leave the island and explore. Volunteers can either go back to the mainland for the weekend or stay on the island; the boat leaves Fridays and Sundays. Volunteers will often go to Kampot (the nearest city) for weekend adventures or to pick up supplies that are harder to find.
MCC is, in my opinion, truly a family. Not only does Paul and his family live on the island, the volunteers and staff have to work together on most duties to keep things running smoothly. We had a weekly dishes cart and helped make food on weekends in order to give Sao a break. The children love to learn and you can put them to work crushing cans or painting buoys in exchange for reading them a story or coloring with them. Often we would go swimming because of the heat, and the dogs would join, which is just as much fun as it sounds.