It was back to early starts this morning; breakfast at 7am! Some volunteers found it easier than others to get up after possibly a late night 🙂 But after we finished breakfast is was off to discover the amazing Village that we will be working at. It’s around a 20 minute tuk tuk ride out to the village and the difference between the busy tourist Siem Reap and the traditional village is in stark contrast. First we were given and orientation around one of the villages and the school. We were shown how the people lived, their local market place, the police station and areas they gather for festivals and events. We were also introduced to the founder of the school, Sambath. He is an amazing man, having saved all of his money in 2007 and instead of spending it on a holiday or himself; he founded a school in the community. From its meagre beginnings it is now a school for over 1000 children in the surrounding communities and I see it as a privilege to be able to come into the friendly community and be able to lend a hand!
After the orientation walk it was time to buy some vegetables from the local market, take them back to the school and help cook up a feast for lunch in different huts. We cook for the staff and youth from the high school who work at the school.
Now after lunch the real work started! We are finishing a hut within the school that will be used as a classroom, house, cooking area, study zone etc. Everyone got right into it with saws, hammers and nails as well at some good ol elbow grease! While half the group worked building, the other half worked with the kids dancing, drawing, teaching and playing sports. These activities are all swapped around so everyone gets a go doing everything. In the afternoon it was free time to hang wiith the kids (my favourite time of day) and it gives the volunteers a fantastic opportunity to get to know the kids and their culture.
It was time to head back to Siem Reap and then it was free time! Dinner was earlier tonight as everyone was super hungry after working hard! After a hearty meal, there were many different options available, one of which was getting massages while watching a lady boy show…essentially karaoke. Definitively an experience!
It’s another day of work tomorrow and everyone is excited to see a finished house by the end of the week!