Today started out a bit different than the past few days. Each morning while we are snoozing away the local Cambodian conservation rangers go on a sunrise run. But THIS morning we had the honor of being invited! They started off with chants and then went into a thirty minute jog down the road. Kudos to our two troupers, Lakku and Merinda, who arose bright and early for this!
Breakfast was, again, loads of rice, noodle, veggies and fruit accompanied by our very own creation: OvalCoffee (two scoops coffee, two scoops ovaltine, 2.5 scoops sugar, 1/2 carton of milk)…yes we have finally perfected it.
Instead of heading straight into work for the morning, all the volunteers got to visit the local primary school about 15 minutes down the road. We spent the entire morning there teaching in six different classes. As ages varied, different subjects were taught: numbers, letters, shapes and all the way to geography. We have two volunteers who are teachers back home, Mandy and Stefanie, and it was so great seeing them in their element! We ended the morning with duck, duck, goose which quickly turned into wrestle time. For lunch we headed back to the sanctuary and then had an afternoon of work.
Groups were split into two again. One group headed to a new location to build another toilet for the forest rangers while the second group spent the afternoon planting a vegetable garden right out front from our accommodation. At 3:30 pm Kamlin emerged once again from the forest and we spent the next hour feeding her her daily fruit.
Right now we are just finishing up dinner and in just a bit the conservation rangers are going to join us again for English lessons. Just like many of the locals here, knowledge of English varies between the rangers. We’ve spent a lot of our time teaching the younger generations so everyone is very excited to get to include and interact with the adults. And hopefully learn from more Khmer!
After our English lesson were are going to start bringing in the new year (aka have the electricity on until 12:30 am instead of our usual 10 pm bed time — wooooo gettinnn’ crazzzzy!!)
Messages from the vollies:
Amruta: Happy new year sweetheart! Wish you were here to celebrate it with me. Miss you lots! Have lots of funnnn and see you soon in the new year! Love you! XOXO
Merinda: Sabbayrikreay Chhnam Themi Mum and Dad! Hope you enjoyed the fireworks in Syders. I’ll be in contact when I get to Thailand on Sunday. Give lots of hugs to Tash xx
Mikayla: Happy new year mom, dad and everyone else! Love and miss you guys!
Mandy: Happy new year friends and family! I am feeling better and hoping to continue to do so until I arrive back home. The elephants are awesome! Love you guys!!! xoxox
Taylor- Hey Mom and Dad! Miss yall tons and tons. Its new years eve over here, and I cant say it the same… but its still pretty rad. Love you mucho. XO
Edward: Hey Mom and Dad and the whole Callahan crew. Happy New Year and Happy Birthday Nan! Everything is great here in Cambodia, miss you!
Madison: Hey family and friends, It has been an awesome week at the Elephant Sanctuary. It is currently New Years Eve and we are all just hanging out waiting for the new year. Hope everything is awesome back home, and I will be in contact with everyone on Friday when we arrive back in Siem Reap. XOXO
Jordie: Hey mumma! This has been an absolutely amazing last week here and to top the end of it off we get to celebrate new years! I love you lots and cant wait to see you this new year lots of love xoxo
Stephanie: Hey family and friends, it’s been an incredible week here and as we come upon the new year tonight I am missing all of you. See you soon! XOXO
Jill: Happy New Year Everyone! (Mom and Dad, Arnolds, Armstrongs, Holstines) I hope you all have a fantastic time celebrating! And Happy Birthday Madi! Love you all so much!