Sunday, 1 February 2015
Exploring in Cambodia continues
WRITTEN BY: Sarah Bensen
Friday marked an exciting day as the kids had health checks in the afternoon, so 6 of us jetted off to Siem Reap for a long weekend.
Saturday morning was an early start to see the magnificent sunrise over Angkor Wat followed by a day of temple hopping (see above pictures). Although it was very hot, and there was a lot of walking involved, the incredible ruins were worth the struggle and we now know why they aren't to be missed.
The rest of the weekend was spent taking in the sites like the market streets, taking advantage of the cheap shopping and Cambodian pancakes before we caught the night bus back home for class on Monday morning. Luke and myself had already been to Siem Reap so elected to explore Phnom Penh instead.
The city of Phnom Penh is incredibly big, however heading over to celebrate central market, Riverside and it's surrounds made us feel more at home as we caught more of a grasp about what this city is all about. We indulged in some of the best food thus far at central market, which of course was local produce in a makeshift cafeteria. Not only was it delicious but we were paying 50c to $1 for meals!
Being Friday now, we've successfully made it through our second full week of teaching. Again we've faced sickness and injuries, as Cambodia takes its toll on us, but there is no denying the joy that it has been to start to really find our feet within the school and as teachers. Most of us know our students by name now. We know their personalities as well as their academic strengths and weaknesses and as we look towards next week I think we're going to find it difficult to say goodbye.
Recently the school had health check-ups where all the children were inspected by nurses. Dehydration and teeth issues were by far the greatest issues faced by the majority of students and I found myself worrying the entire time about my kindergarteners. There's no doubt that the time has flown by and we're looking now towards what we give back to the school as we leave.
After the checks this week the whole 'wanting to change the world' notion has definitely spun around my head. I want to get rid of the lolly carts that sit outside their school, to have them all know how to brush their teeth, to have them do it everyday and to make sure there's always water available for them. But the shortness of our time here has really sunk in and we can only put as much as we can in place and teach them as much as possible in such a short time, in the hope that maybe it will change their futures for the better. While it's a sobering thought, I think it only makes us want to work harder as we head into our final week.