With 3 days in the village behind us we have already done so much. Our project at the community vocational center is nearly complete. In order to build the new gate we’ve mixed tons of cement, transported the heavy stuff across plots, up ladders and into molds. We’ve also laid a few hundred bricks, again using all that cement (I love cement). In the process of building walls and roofs for local houses in disrepair we’ve crafted frames from bamboo, learned proper building techniques from local laborers, sowed palm leave siding, and hammered to our hearts content.
Back at the SHCC school we’ve continued our work teaching english, art, and sport while learning from children as well. We have been helping them in a little experiment in self reliance. The volunteers have been teaching some of the older kids how to start a small business. They have been learning how to use their skills, whether its painting or basket weaving, and knowledge to create an income for themselves and their families that have been surviving off only a dollar or 2 a day. Its not all hard work though. The other night we visited Route 60. This perpetual traffic jam is where Cambodians come to have fun and unwind. The volunteers got to experience one of my favorite parts of living in Siem Reap, The Carnival. Here there is a roller coaster, tons of games where you can win everything from beer to laundry detergent, and BUMPER CARS. As you can imagine the volly’s had a blast. We have also visited Phare, a Cambodian circus. This organization takes disadvantaged youths from the Cambodian city of Battabong and teaches them skills in art, music and Circus. It was crazy show as the youths showed off their acrobatics and extreme flexibility while telling a story of facing fear. Friday is close to at hand. Our last day in the village will surely not be one to forget. Cheers, JR