WE DID IT!! Four days of hot weather and hard work and we did it. We started our day with our usual breakfast and hurried off to the school anxious to finally finish our project. All morning everyone worked their tails off. The roof was the first step to be completed. Next was placing three walls onto the top front of the school. Right before lunch one group started on nailing in walls on the inside of the school. These walls will form the three separate classrooms. And the last group started on carrying dirt to the three gardens right outside the classrooms.
We broke for lunch and but hopped right back into work a half hour later. No one wanted to stop! In the afternoon everyone worked like little busy bees placing the last of the tiles. Kaine used his tradesman skills from home to cut all the tiles and the rest of us worked the pieces like a puzzle to make them all fit perfectly. We ended our workday by beautifying the building with 21 different plants. We hoed and planted and hoed and planted until all were in and our rooms were COMPLETE!
At the beginning of the week we arrived at this school to a foundation in place and left with three classrooms. Each schoolroom will be used for different levels of English classes. The rooms that English is currently taught in will now be used for a sewing and painting class. Because of the work of 20 inspiring volunteers this school is now able to educate more kids than every before on more subjects than every before. I am so proud of each and every one of you 🙂
We celebrated our accomplishments by diving into papaya, bananas and watermelon while having a donation ceremony with the heaps of notebooks, crayons, pencils and toys brought by the volunteers. All the kids lined up and clung to their new schoolbooks with all their might. It was such a touching moment seeing the smiles beaming form their faces.
We said our goodbyes to the kids and headed off into the sunset for our last tuk tuk ride away from the village. Everyone washed up and all headed to dinner. Two more nights in Siem Reap and the building volunteers head off to the elephants sanctuary, while a few others apart of the village immersion program will stay for another building project.
Update for teachers from Domdin:
It was a last day for teaching program at the BFOK. Every classes, had a presentation about “All About Me!” book. Students were reading their book in the class and then they brought book home. Some classes, played games and dancing the songs (Cha Cha slide, one direction and Hocky Pocky) with students and other class was reading story book. After they finished classes at 4 o’clock, teachers played with the kids, took photos, and dancing with students. It was really sad for leaving from the school and kids but it is very happy to help children in the community and see they were happy and enjoy with their classes.
Older kids were coming at 4 pm and 5 pm for the last day today. Even they didn’t learnt with teachers but they not happy for teacher’s last day. They want teachers stay for longer to teach and share their experiences to the children in the community.
It was also very excited and sad for this leaving. Students and teachers were crying to say good bye to each other. We don’t want to leave there 🙁 🙁
Update from teacher, Adele:
It’s our last day of teaching today, and as I prepare to say goodbye to the relationships I have made with the children at BFOK, I look back and smile at the amazing experience and opportunity I have been given. I can’t say that it was easy, but I can say it has taught me a lot, and for that I am a better teacher.
THANK YOU Reach Out for giving me this opportunity and thank you BFOK for welcoming us into your school and allowing us to show you different ways of teaching.
Thank you to my students who have made me smile everyday, as I watch their english develop. Keep up your hard work and study. You will all be something amazing in the future, because you already are amazing children.
Good luck to BFOK as their community grows and their education opportunities widen.
It’s always hard to say goodbye.
Update from teacher, Emily
As this trip comes to an end I think about all of the amazing memories over the last four weeks. The month has been a rollercoaster of ups and downs emotionally but for the most part they have been positive. I have learnt kindness from the Cambodians in Siem Reap, passion from my co-teachers and happiness from all of the children, regardless of their situation. Teaching at BFOK was the best experience of my life and our goodbye party last night was very emotional. Lots of gifts were given and many things that the children could benefit from more than us but never the less they came together to give us these things to say thank you which is very overwhelming.
I will miss everything about Cambodia including the friends I’ve made, the crazy tuk tuk drivers, the beautiful children, the massage ladies who try to teach us Khmer and the Cambodians who are genuinely thankful for us helping their country.
I love you Cambodia, I’ll be back one day.
Update from teacher, Madison
Today was my last day of teaching in Cambodia. It has been the most heart warming and wonderful experience that I will always remember. All of the students and staff that I have met a long the way will always hold a special place in my heart. The other teachers who I have shared this journey with are the most inspiring people who I have learnt a lot from. I know we will all be better teachers from this experience.
This is adventure has been challenging, eye opening and most of all rewarding and I am greatful for ROV, BFOK and SHCC for making it all possible!
I still have two more weeks here in Cambodia and can’t wait to see what else is in store for me! The only thing I know for sure is that I have fallen in love with this wonderful country, it’s people and it’s culture and I will be coming back for a visit or two!
Update from teacher, Kame
Our last day at BFOK ended up being more emotional for everyone than we had anticipated. Our sweet students and assistant teachers gave us many gifts to show their appreciation, and it was almost overwhelming. We had fun spending our last day of teaching playing games, dancing to the Cha Cha Slide, and doing one final song of Hokey Pokey.
The village party after school was full of music, gift exchanging, and music. When it was time to say our final goodbyes, everyone was teary eyed. I never imagined I would become so attached to everyone at BFOK in just one month, but I really did. I hope that I can have the chance to come back and see everyone that I’ve grown to love again. This trip has honestly been the greatest experience I’ve had yet!