Today was the start of a new adventure, our first day in Kro Bei Reil. Kro Bei Reil (which means “Bull Money” in English btw) is a collection of 12 villages surrounding a central school, which is where we are based. The school serves 1400 students from the 12 villages over the course of each day and truly sets a new standard for education in Cambodia.
When we arrived at the school we were greeted by a host of Cambodian youths from the surrounding community and the schools founder, Sam Bath. The volunteers were divided up amongst a series of 12 houses on the school grounds (all built by Reach Out Volunteers) where they will be spending lunch with local volunteers for the rest of the week. Each house belongs to a village and students from each village are charged with taking care of the house as if it were their own. It’s a great way to teach the students how to be responsible and the volunteers get the chance to be part of it.
Once we were all settled we ventured out of the school and into the surrounding villages to get a better understanding for how the people of Kro Bei Reil live.
After Our tour the volunteers went back to their respective houses to prepare lunch with the local students and volunteers before beginning the afternoons work.
Half of our group stayed at the school. They spent the afternoon teaching the kids and working on small projects at the school.
The rest of the group made our way to the main project site. This week we are building a vocational center next to the local health clinic. Once it is finished it will be a place for villagers to go in order to learn skills that they can use to start or advance their careers. Our work today consisted of mixing cement, laying brick walls, and thatching the roof with coconut leaves.
After a day of hard work the volunteers got a surprise in the evening… Carnival! Route 66 is a busy highway outside of Siem Reap that houses a year round carnival complete with bumper cars, a roller coaster, and all sorts of games. As always everyone’s favorite part was the bumper cars.
Tomorrow our work continues.