Monday 7th July 2017
Today was our first day at the village and it sure was a fun one.
When we arrived we were met by our new “families”. The high school kids who have been schooled at the village are now volunteers there themselves and are our hosts for the week. Each family has a hut, which is their home base. We spend half of the day working on a construction project and the other half working in the village. Time in the village is divided between activities with the little kids (like dancing, drawing, English teaching, hygiene lessons) and helping the high school kids with looking after the house and community. In both our aim is to interact with the kids, helping them improve their English and become more confident, as well as set a good example so they grow up with a strong sense of proper health and hygiene, rubbish management practices and pride in their community – things that are not at all guaranteed on other villages in Cambodia. The kids in the village are so open and fun and the high schoolers are confident, welcoming, intelligent and articulate. That’s pretty great to see in any teenager, let alone those whose education and aspirations are handicapped by poverty and their country’s recent dark history.
After work at the village we went to Route 60, a sketchy Cambodian fun fair on the side of the highway. This is a lot more fun than that description would indicate. The bumper cars are faster and more brutal than usual, the Ferris wheel is more like a thrill ride and the pop-the-balloon and shoot-the-ducks games include prizes of stuffed animals, sweets, useful household items, bug spray and bottles of Khmer whiskey.
Tomorrow we go back to the village, which I know everyone is looking forward to it already.
P.S. Pics coming soon.