First day on the job! (Nov 25)
25.11.2013 - 25.11.2013 28 °C
6:00 a.m. rise with difficulty (4:30 p.m. in nfld.) I scraped myself out of bed and hoofed it along to ACODO Orphanage.
There were changes when I arrived at the orphanage - things were quiet. I could not find that dear man, Savon; there were no children. around. I spoke with one of the cooks who told me that Veasna, the director, would be back in an hour, and that the children would be back for classes at 12:00. I promised to return before noon.
Back to my hotel. There, a lady joined me for breakfast. Helen is an older lady who comes to Cambodia for 3 months a year. She told me of "Hearts and Love" orphanage, where she volulunteers and then offered to take me there with Pastor, when he arrived. He did; we chatted; we motorbiked to the orphanage.
That orphanage houses 35 children under 12, who were all in a large grass thatched and walled classroom. There were 4 Aussie volunteers form "The Gap Year" , and Deb, who teaches and coordinates many of the programs. As the kids were doing crafts, I had a chance to interact with some of the kids and to speak with Deb about the kids program, and share some of her good ideas about teaching English. I was shown about the orphanage - the kitchen, the sleeping area, the chapel (!), the small garden and the chicken coop. Deb said that I was welcome to return with Danielle and watch her teaching one of her English classes, which I hope to do on Thursday morning.
THESE WERE SOME OF THE KIDS DOING ENGLISH CLASSES IN A THATCHED BUILDING
'PASTOR' HELPS WITH COOKING THE MIDDAY MEAL FOR AT THE ORPHANAGE. HE IS A VERY FRIENDLY, LIKEABLE FELLOW.
Time up, so I hopped on the motorbike with Pastor and we rode over the pot-holed dirt road towards town. He asked if I was a Christian - and my reply took me into his confidence about his being saved 15 years ago. He deserted heroin, booze, guns, stealing and womanizing, and told me colourful stories to show "how great is the Lord! " I must warn Danielle to bite her tongue!
I returned to ACODO orphanage, to be greeted by enthusiastic kids who remembered me from January. There is a hired teacher, who I shadowed for the afternoon. 'Teacha's' methods include a long ruler which snaps loudly on the kid'd desks when an answer is not forthcoming. I was sad to find that a number of the kids are no longer at ACODO. There are some changes that may not all be good. I have asked some questions very carefully, and arranged to get in touch with a few of the students who have left. I assisted in English classes from noon to 5, and returned at 6:30 for the Khmer Traditional Dance performance at the orphanage (see my earlier blog: http://sue-mcnicholas.travellerspoint.com )
ONE OF THE TRADITIONAL DANCES - THE FISH HARVEST DANCE
THE QUEEN OF THE RIVER IN A TRADITIONAL DANCE ABOUT MONKEYS AND FISHES
THREE OF MY LITTLE STUDENTS ENJOYED WATCHING THE DANCING
Well, Danielle was due to arrive at 9:45 and I had arranged with Kolab to get me at my hotel at 9 o'clock. We motorbiked to the airport and started the long wait - The plane arrived late at 11:15. I spent the time sitting on a wooden bench, often losing my spot as I succumbed to sleep. Danielle finally came through the gates, not looking too bad for her 23 hour flight. We hopped onto twin motorbikes and rode through a sultry night enjoying a light breeze.
A MIDNIGHT RIDE TOWARDS SIEM REAP CENTRE.