A Travellerspoint blog

Day 11 - Prahos Kbal and area

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

sunny

Today I slept in and didn't go for a walk with the others. A few of us stayed behind. Woke up around 6:30 am and headed to breakfast shortly after brushing my teeth.

We were leaving at 8:00 am to head to another village to build a platform for their well. We would be doing this at our school tomorrow. We headed out on the dirt road and didn't have to walk too far as we were lucky enough to hitch a ride on a motorcycle with Tia (Yes, Lily, my type of man, if he was single and living in Canada).

Rom, our cook was also riding a motorcycle and took two of the ladies with her as well. After getting dropped off at the school both Tia and Rom headed back to get the others who were walking.

New kids came to greet us, similiar yet different. It was a similar school, two of them, less toilets, only two and a well. These kids were quite different than our kids. They were much more physical in their play as there was punching, pushing and shoving. A shock to me as our kids are very gentle and when one child gets a ball and the other wants it they either share or the one who didn't get it shrugs it off. That was a very nice thing to see. The fighting and the aggressiveness amongst these kids was quite shocking.

We brought buckets of sand to the platform, hauled up bags of rocks (with great difficulty as there was nothing to grip on the bag except for one side and they were 50kg each). The bags of rocks were opened and spread amongst the sand, some water was poured on it, the surface was flattened after more sand was added and then it was time to mix the cement.]

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Buckets of sand and it wasn't so easy sometimes with the buckets as many were cracked, split and had bottoms that were falling out. Here nothing is wasted. You make do with what you have. Children wear clothes that have some tears in them, elastics that have seen better days and some are dirty but they all have million watt smiles and they are warm and welcoming. We are truly blessed to have met these children. I hope that our being here is something they will always remember with fondness as they grow up and that it inspires them to help others. I am certain this is the case as the sense of community is wonderful. Back home we had that, sometime in the 50's and 60's the most. It seems to be mostly gone which is truly sad. Now you get into an elevator or take the train and everyone is staring at their phones.

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Our group of volunteers are already different than the average person back home. We have taken time out of our lives to come to a far away place to work on average 6 hours a day. We are filthy dirty, showers are by bucket with unheated water, toilets are flushed by pouring buckets of water into the toilet. Fortunately, the last few days have not been as blisteringly hot. We are coated in sunscreen, bug spray and dirt. We are often carrying fairly heavy buckets of sand, cement and dirt. Not for wussies. We have given our money, time and our hearts. We want to make this world a better place for our fellow man. Those that have not had the same opportunities as us.

After the cement is mixed we lug buckets to the platform and the guys, Pang, Kom, Tia and others smooth out the cement. There is laughing and chatter amongst them. We don't have enough cement and we mix some more and before we know it we are done. We also have some green bananas for a snack a little earlier.

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We pile into the back of the HOPE pickup truck to head back to our village. It is a fun and cooling ride back. As soon as we arrive we look for our children but few are to be seen. Lunch time and after that I go for a short nap. At least I think it will be a short nap. Some hours later I wake up and see that it is 3:16 pm. I feel bad to have slept for so very long. I was obviously very tired. The last two nights were not the best sleeps. I woke up at 3:00 am to pee and couldn't get back to sleep. This am I awoke at 4:00 am and thought I got back to sleep but it probably wasn't the best.

I was quite groggy when I got up as I was really hot, sticky, and thirsty. Soon enough I got my bearings and assembled hockey nets for the kids to play with. They were bowling at first and then I went into the net and then they were hitting my ankles with the balls. After a bit I showed them how to kick the balls into the nets. They did this for a while, moving the nets to different places and eventually ended up in one of the classrooms. When they were done playing they put the nets in a neat stack along with the balls. The children always return the items we bring out for them to play with. It is never assumed that it is theirs.

We sat around chatting somemore when my surrogate son, Pierrin started doing some yoga. It was time...into the spare classroom where they had played soccer earlier. Clark got the children to line up in rows and I gave them a real yoga practice. Total bliss for me. It was awesome. Got Rainbow to finish off the class by showing them wheel, crow and some more advanced poses. More playing, going around in a line and kids following my moves.

Then Linda taught them an aerobics class and had them roaring with laughter. Before long it was Clark's turn and he went in to teach them YMCA and the macarena. Vivian helped him with the macarena.

Earlier in the day after lunch Clark was showing us some of his ballroom dancing moves, waltz, cha cha, and tango.

Shower time and soon it will be dinner and then we start all over again tomorrow.

We had dinner and contemplated playing a game but everyone was tired and we just shared stories and soon headed off to bed. Bedtime was generally about 7:30 pm. Early to rise and early to bed. That's life without electricity. We did actually have fans that were on all night as well as a single light bulb for a bit of light. They were all powered by car batteries. People in the village that happen to own tvs, which cost about $40 American and are black and white are also powered by car batteries.

Posted by Sydney324 17:11 Archived in Cambodia Tagged children cambodia school volunteer prahoskbal

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