Today was our first day in the village with the new volunteers. We are based at a school called the Self Help Community Center, which is surrounded by 12 villages that make up the community of Kro Bie Real (“Buffalo Money” in English). When we arrived the volunteers were met by their Cambodian counterparts. After seeing the work we have been doing in this community over the past few years the local children have begun to volunteer themselves and now work along side us at our projects in the community. Each ROV volunteer was partnered with a Cambodian volunteer and brought to the house where they will be spending lunch for the next week.
We were then given a orientation of the school by its founder Sam Bath. He founded the school 7 years ago after pursuing education in the city. He came back to his community and wanted to change the lives of its children through education.
This was followed by a tour of one of the 12 surrounding villages with Sam Ol, one of the local volunteers. He showed us the local market where the villagers go everyday to buy their food and then took us through streets to see how locals live here.
For lunch the volunteers went to their assigned houses and helped their Cambodian counterparts cook local fare. Lunch ranged from stir fried pumpkin, to fish soup, to pork stuffed tomato (a welcome change from the purely vegetarian meals of the Ele sanctuary).
In the afternoon we split up into two groups. One group went to our work site where were are finishing the construction of wall around our new vocational center. The other half stayed at the school where they worked with the kids teaching english, learning to dance, and cleaning up their houses.