How do I describe what it feels like to give selflessly? Jake and I walked to the nearby homes of our placement and distributed food items, the gratitude expressed by the children and families was overwhelming but what was most rewarding was watching the joy experienced by Jake as he brought happiness to those around him . The whole group later discussed how they could assist those nearby families .
Many conversations have occurred around what else we can give, what we will do next time, how can we give more – the whole group has united together and want nothing more than to help this community and further extend on the work we have started. We will look into providing Soccer goals and fixing their main oval area hopefully before we depart. The walls of the kindergarten have now been bricked and we started rendering walls today. The vegetable garden was primed with manure , imagine the sensational smell in the bus on the way home 🙂 what is remarkable is that no one complains – the focus of our trip is always what is important.
Later in the afternoon we ventured to the War Museum , our tour guide was Moun Sinath , he has worked for the War Museum for the last 11 years. Being a war veteran, he served the Cambodian army before he got injured by a landmine whereby he lost his right leg. In 1979 Moun Sinath joined the Cambodian army and started fighting against the Khmer Rouge in approximately the Soutr Nikom district, the Svay Leu district and the Banteay Srei district in Siem Reap. Most of his time he stayed at a military base, but he fought nearly every day against the Khmer Rouge. Although Moun Sinath got shot 3 times, approximately in 1982, 1985 and 1987, he retired after losing his right leg due to a landmine in the Svay Leu district in Siem Reap in 1988. The reality of the killing fields was made abundantly real .
The whole visit only reiterated the importance of what we are doing here and why it is so important . We ended our placement today being mobbed by students who wanted stickers and they lined the street as our bus left today and the reality we would be leaving these amazing students in less than a week starting to sink in , it will be very emotional to leave .
The Soccer Program is proving to be incredibly popular, students love their sessions and are reluctant to return to class as they enjoy the experience so much . Cara and Dante run a well structured and organised program and break times always feature huge matches with students and staff from Wirreanda and the local school.
Huge thanks to the Reagan Milstein Foundation for their very generous donation that enabled this program to be a success .
The director of the children’s home today thanked us for bringing the program to Siem Reap and was very impressed with the teaching and coaching methods of Cara and Dante . Cara exhibited her vice captain leadership qualities today by speaking to her fellow coach about making it more fun and less competitive, hard to know who he gets this competitive nature from 🙂
Sok sabai teh (how are you?)
Here are just a few samples of the amazing artwork all the local school children at the New Hope of Children Association have completed thus far.
Aw kun (thank you) 🙂
It’s hard to believe we are already half way through our expedition, this is a moment in our lives we will always treasure. Today the teaching team delivered lessons on teeth brushing, Australian Culture and comprehension skills . The construction team worked on laying bricks , making cement from scratch and establishing the area for a vegetable garden. Another day of hard work and beautiful rewards that come from working with these Cambodian children.
Write about what you have learnt from the teachers from Australia in the last week-
What did you learn about Australia ?
Draw a map of Australia –
Draw a picture of an Australian Animal –
Teachers to explain what a family is , how families are different .
Write about your family, who is in your family , what are their names ? How old are they ? :-
Draw a Picture of your family :-
ACARA UNIT DESCRIPTION
Students explore how meaning is communicated through the relationships between language, text, purpose, context and audience. This includes how language and texts are shaped by their purpose, the audiences for whom they are intended and the contexts in which they are created and received.
Today we ventured out to the floating villages ,our Siem Reap guide Ray and our bus driver SolPierre have become part of the Wirreanda Crew and let’s just say they ” are all over it ” when it comes to looking out for us and keeping the laughter going. One of our students overheard a staff member from our accomodation saying ‘ Bless ‘ last night , what can we say , our enthusiasm and love of life is contagious:)
Watching these students interact with the locals, embrace the culture and keep positive has been inspirational. Every parent , family member and person in the Wirreanda community should be nothing but proud of the qualities and behaviors these young people have demonstrated. The reality of the life we take for granted in Australia each day has become evident, many conversations have occurred about how grateful we all are for the life we live each and every day. Students have witnessed first hand young children begging, selling items and having huge responsibility to support their families.
We travelled in a Cambodian boat, enjoying the rare moment of breeze .
These villages run on no electricity and the houses exist 5 meters above water . We later travelled by canoes around the floating villages while many students gave food items to the local children. A tranquil atmosphere engulfed us and we allowed the experience to wash over us. Knowing the hard work that awaits us this week we embraced the tranquility. Tonight we will focus on lesson plans and curriculum for the next week and allow the year 12 students to get some much needed study time .
But not before we acknowledge Carissa turning 18 years old – happy birthday Carissa 🙂
Another huge day in Siem Reap with a visit to ten Angkor Temples. Angkor Wat was first a Hindu, then subsequently a Buddhist, temple complex in Cambodia and the largest religious monument in the world. The Projects Abroad team endured very hot and humid conditions and many experienced their first ride in a tuk tuk .Angkor is one of the most important archaeological sites in South-East Asia. Stretching over some 400 km2, including forested area, Angkor Archaeological Park contains the magnificent remains of the different capitals of the Khmer Empire, from the 9th to the 15th century. They include the famous Temple of Angkor Wat and, at Angkor Thom, the Bayon Temple with its countless sculptural decorations.
Some students experienced elephant rides and we then headed to the markets for the evening . Our days have been jammed packed and although fatigue and dealing with extreme heat and humidity this group continues to thrive.The bonding with this amazing group continues and each day proves to be an adventures we never anticipated and will long cherish .
Incredible hard physical work and dynamic teaching occurring in Siem Reap, students, volunteers and staff working tirelessly to bring about positive change.
I could not be prouder of this phenomenal team.
Full day of work at New Hope for Children Association (NHCP). We headed out at 7.30 am, best intentions in hand, the construction crew worked on laying the foundations for the kindergarten, making cement and starting the brick work for walls. The teaching crew taught basic literacy, an arts lesson and a hygiene lesson. All students had their first physical education and soccer lesson , we soon discovered some very competitive students. We had some rain overnight so the small grass area assigned for PE lessons was quite flooded, many young Cambodian students come to school without shoes and the wet conditions did not hinder them, if anything it added an exciting element to the game .
Our Wirreanda students and volunteers continue to thrive, uniting as a group to achieve goals and outcomes they have set themselves. The significance of this expedition is evident as each student selflessly gives their time selflessly and whole heartedly. The 18 months leading up to this has been worth it, their focus and purpose increasing with each day.
I will let the photos speak for themselves. Needless to say that this is not an experience any of us will forget anytime soon
Our day today will be divided into construction and teaching , a huge day awaits us. Here are some the plans and our timetable that we established .