A WOMAN who will turn 60 this year has returned from the "trip of a lifetime" to south east Asia.

Teresa Cudd spent a week working with elephants in Thailand before experiencing life in a Cambodian village in the second week.

"It was a treat to myself because I'll be 60 this year. The trip has been planned for 15 months and it was everything I could have hoped for and more."

Teresa, of Old Hill, travelled with her sister Katrina Anderson and sister-in-law Elaine Clements, both of whom also live in Falmouth.

"Cambodia was a real eye opener. Our tour guide Vireak was 27 and he used to live in the jungle. He said that his father once told him he must kill a crocodile in order to prove himself as a man. If he hadn't done it, his father would've killed him.

"The village has a lack of fresh water, the houses are built on stilts to avoid flooding and many of the children have shoes that are either too big or too small, or have no shoes at all."

The three ladies were part of a 15-strong group of over-50s on a trip organised by international volunteer group We Are Bamboo, which provides donations and resources around the world.

The group helped school children with maths and English amongst a host of other activities. The company assists with numerous projects including provision of fresh water, mosquito nets, bicycles, food and support.

"The children are so happy, even though they have nothing but a football and a slippery rope. Families were reduced to tears when they were given a toilet block. They are all trying to better themselves and it was lovely to be able to help."

Before Teresa left the UK, she was given a sealed envelope from Falmouth Town Football Club as a donation to New Hope School. She gave it to the CEO when they arrived.

Teresa, Katrina and Elaine are now going to try and raise some funds to build a home for a family. It costs 1,200 US dollars and if anyone would like to make a donation, they can contact the football club for her details.