Today was a very satisfying day as I am sure the photos below will portray. We arrived at the school project at around 7:30Am and began to nail the new classrooms frame together.
From there, we really saw our work from the previous days come into life as we carried the frames to our previously cemented foundation of bricks and pillars.
After standing the three frames into position the volunteers began fixing the beams and rafters to fix the frame structures together. This will allow the frame to be both strong and give us fixings to nail the roof to later on.
It was beautiful and satisfying to not only see the look on the children’s and principles smiling faces as their new classroom was erected but also, the local builders working so skilfully and passionately alongside the volunteers. Myself being a qualified carpenter and another volunteer also a chippy learnt and saw a lot of new techniques not to mention the volunteers who pushed themselves to climb, nail and create things they had never done before – very liberating and character building. However, the point that was paramount to this synergy of local engagement alongside the volunteers displays balance between the volunteers efforts and the locals reciprocating and believing in the project also. There is no doubt in my mind that nothing was being missed out. Even environmentally, materials are all local sourced, natural and built using minimal fossil fuels.. beautiful to see and be part of.
At the end of the day we celebrated again with the students getting to know more of their stories and dance moves/games.
Returning to Siem Reap, we had amazing food at Nad restaurant and walked to the markets where the volunteers shopped and tested out their bartering skills.
Tonight we all (hopefully) will have an early one because we will be leaving at 4:25AM to the temples of Angkor Wat for sunset.