Half the volunteers had their last day at the schools today before they head to the elephant sanctuary next week, while the rest will stay here to carry on the work!
It has only been a short week but oh how we have achieved so much! At KID TEA we built a toilet for a very poor family of orphans. The work the volunteers put in was phenomenal! They dug out the septic tank pits which was a consistent four day effort, moved dirt to make a stable ground for the toilet, built up the four brick walls by mixing cement and laying bricks, then rendering the outside.
We finished the septic tank!
At BFOK they did the hard yards on the community centre, making a mammoth effort in getting the frame finished, up and ready for the volunteers next week to finish. They were also were working on a small bridge to connect the school over a small ditch so that during the height of monsoon season the school isn’t divided into two when the rain gets really heavy.
In the afternoon we all got to play with the Cambodian children before the heads of both schools gave the two separate groups a farewell and thank you ceremony. It is something that never fails to touch me as Sophara understands the sacrifice the volunteers have made to be here.
Sophara saying thank you to the volunteers!
Sevy and Sam playing ball with the Cambodians.
The volunteers themselves never cease to amaze me. The amount of effort they put into coming here, the months of work to raise the funds to get to these third world countries and help give these communities a better future. Then once they’re here, they jump into the work with so much enthusiasm that it’s infectious. Despite the face that for a lot of them it’s the first time they’ve really hammered a nail or laid a brick. Whether you’re a friend or a loved one, someone who wants an idea of what ROV does on these projects or just reading our blog for general interest you should be incredibly proud of the volunteers, what they’ve accomplished and how they’ve done it. They are truly amazing people!
In the evening we went out to a local Cambodian Carnival for a well deserved reward where there were rides and games that we all got involved in, it was amazing! After that we split up into two groups for dinner before seeing what Siem Reap has to offer at night.
The Teachers blog –
After a day off at the Temples it was an early morning for the teachers. Domdin surprised us with a western breakfast of eggs and toast. Then we hopped on our bumpy Tuk Tuk ride and were on our way to day 4 of teaching. We reunited with our Khmer teachers in the lesson planning room to prepare for the day. It was mostly a review day upon finishing the unit the previous day. However from next door I could hear the children singing “Heads, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” from Jeans classroom and from the opposite side I heard “The Music Man” from Becky’s classroom. The morning ended quickly as the teachers grew increasingly tired.
For lunch we resumed our positions in front of the cutting boards and vegetables by helping the principles wife with preparing lunch. The weather was in our favor throughout the day as the humidity had left and the wind had picked up. We shared a huge lunch with the village immersion crew and laid out on our backpacks for a mid afternoon nap. By 1:30 it was time to resume classes. We began the new unit with a lesson on how to talk about the weather, the children picked up on it rather quickly. Meanwhile, Haley was assigning homework giving the students freedom to think of English words based on a single letter. By 3:00 the children were antsy and ready to play. My students stayed in to color as usual while the others ran around outside jumping over a large rubber band or playing with a shuttlecock. Jean, Leah, and I biked to the village immersion crew to see the amazing progress! Upon returning to the school the children showered us teachers with drawings of the flash cards we use daily. And surprisingly these students draw 10x better than I ever have. The children soon left and we were back on our Tuk Tuks and on our way home, ready for the weekend.