Paying 2USD to use internet in my hotel room, just because ive bought the souveniers i need to buy, and i still have abt 50USD.
I didnt bring my camera cable, so i will upload the photos once i reach singapore.
Day 1: enroute to and in cambodia…
thats the plane we took from changi airport. silkair flight MI 618 i think.
some clouds from the sky that i never get bored of taking.
Sunset at airport greeted us. That was my first sunset in cambodia.
this is the airport at Siem Reap. those ppl in blue are also from Singapore. Whitley Sec’s Service-learning.
security guard at the airport.
here’s the bus bay at Siem Reap Airport.
siem reap is seriously dusty! Seriously. But i tell you, the ppl are so nice. Because its like any other tourism-dependant nation, the residents there are very friendly people, who welcome you graciously.
The road trip to our hotel was interestingly slow. Apparently, its too dangersous to go anything more than 40km/hr when you are in the downtown area. So, you can imagine how a fast paced life singapore has, when even with heavier traffic, the vehicles move no less than 70km/hr.
Our hotel was nice. I cant complain. Its better than staying where there’s dust everywhere. It took me 1 day to adapt to the condititions, and im glad my almost-possible-sorethroat didnt manifest.
Chose to sleep alone. Cos i wanted to emo. I just wanted to be alone so that i can emo throughout my 5 nights in cambodia. dinner was at this place called Curry Walla. indian restaurant. food was ok. but what excited all of us was: Free Internet!!!!!
of course, when students asked, i said, “errr… i think better not use..” then as soon as i finished my food, i thought, “what the heck…” and i went over to use. thereafter, another 3 students used the computer that looked ages old. but hey, who complains as long as there’s internet right!
Day 2 at Cambodia.
this is our hotel. Prum Bayon hotel.
and our hotel cleaning service.
we were slated to spend the entire day at the orphanage. not knowing what conditions to expect, though eager.
we say this market on our way there.
We went to the orphanage. And my, were the kids there so wonderful.
They looked so happy to see us.
I met “gangster boy”. (thats the boy on the front row, wearing all yellow) Whom i kept trying to hook all the time i saw him. Too bad, he wasnt interested in me. There was this small little girl, so adorable. And we kept saying, “I want…” their eyes looked so ernest. Genuine.
Then we started our work….
1 group started their english lessons and this is how their classroom looks like.
the rest of us went to hammering nails and sawing wood………… i got tired after a while. But it was really amazing to see the rest of the kids at the orphanage do the menial work so effortlessly. I saw boys of 10 yrs old have muscles. I saw a girl probably 12 yrs old carrying 3 lengths of wood, which i know i cant carry as an adult. They have literally been building their furniture from wood pieces. And, its amazing how these ppl know how to make shelves from raw cut wood. They arent like ikea shelves, ready to get knocked into places and they even have holes for positions of the nails. Here, we struggled to knock nails accurately. Struggled to keep the nails upright. Struggled cos we were afraid of blisters. The kids from the orphanage took nearly half the amount of time we took in making the roof! Haha…
lunch was great for us, at a hotel. But the lunch for the orphans at the orphanage was just a plate of rice and a bowl of soup containing vegetables and some pieces of fish.
Comparatively, alot of us felt bad. There’s nothing much we can do long term. Except to educate the kids. And there are far too many children who have no formal education and are sent towork instead of study. Creating a continuous cycle of poverty.
on the way back to the orphanage, we saw this series of drains, almost fully covered with algae. serious case of eutrophication.
After lunch, i stayed with my group to do the english lessons. And they did a great job i must say. Last minute preparations and quick thinking got them doing a great job. And im proud of IsT, Li, Ni, and team. 🙂
i walked over to see silk weaving.
and then, we continued with the shelves and roof until dinner.
one of the 4 roofs completed. the other remaining 3 were also completed by the end of the day.
some of us started with tiles, after the locals finished laying bricks to make walls.
here’s the study room when the tile are almost completed.
we left the orphanage abt slightly after 6pm. and a whole bunch of kids at the orphanage ran out to wave goodbyes…. 🙂
After that, we went to the night market to get some stuff, where i quickly bought whatever souveniers i need to buy and got myself a packet of jack and jills potato chips.
Back to our hotel for a debrief and reflection session. Today’s session was meaningful. I felt like crying when i heard our students share their thoughts. They seemed to have learnt alot. Whether they’ll remember and continue to be the person they want to be, remains to be seen. Nevertheless, today’s experience made an impact on all of them and im happy to share this experience with them. Day 3/4/5 updates will come later when days 3/4/5 come. 🙂