Thursday, 22 March 2012

moving along

Things have started to move along, having started slowly.  I have visited another school, in the poorer rural area surrounding Sihanoukville.  We have also met with one of the directors of an orphanage, I plan to visit the Orphanage and see if we are able to help them out, more on that later.  We are also starting to network with the volunteers that are running various NGO's as well as local business that are helping us get the word out to the NGO staff that visit their places of business and things are slowly starting to gain momentum.

Other organisations have come forward and I have arranged to meet with some and see if we can help them.... more to come on this.

Otres School

At the same time, I am working out at Otres school, the kids make the place, they are so wonderful to work with.  Of course there are several other volunteers out there doing awesome work; Shaun (the founder), Jen, Audrey and Ciaran, as well as Ingrid who recently left but put an incredible effort into not just the school but the local area as well.  We had a fun day for the kids this week.
Sack Race !

Khmer Piñata!
The idea is to make sure the kids are having fun at school to encourage them to keep attending and continuing with their education.  Plenty of games as well as lunch,

Yum ! Lunch - Chicken coconut curry, rice and a baguette !

one of the local television stations BAYON TV came out so now we are local TV stars !!! The main part of the school is funded by a German charitable organisation, the English teaching part is organised by the Painting Smiles Charity, which is the group I am working with.


I have started working with the REAM school, which is near the REAM National Park.  I am helping with the administration, organisation and with smaller jobs, like helping paint the school this Friday. As well as seeing if we can help them fund small projects.  They have an interesting concept to be self funded as well as help the poor rural village by perhaps developing an eco tourism venture in the future, which will be exciting.   At all times all foreign volunteers have to be careful they are not taking jobs away from local Khmer workers and I am always mindful of this.

The Islands

It's not all work and sadness at seeing the poverty.  I managed to get away for a day and go snorkelling and swimming at a few Islands just off the coast.

I see you !

The beach at Bamboo Island

Swimming back out to the boat to go home

A stunning day and beautiful weather, it really is a beautiful place still mostly undeveloped but you can see signs everywhere of development. Lots of the Islands have been sold off to foreigners (Russians, Chinese etc) with plans for Casinos and resorts.

The local wealthy Khmer are developing the gorgeous beaches at breakneck speed, aspiring to the concrete and glass that seems to so design the western world.

The mundane

Not having any organisation behind us is both liberating and difficult.  Any decisions on which charities to support can be made quickly and efficiently but all of the mundane administration like accommodation, transport etc must be organised and paid for by ourselves. We move into our apartment next week, I am getting tired of living out of the room at our guesthouse.


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