Tuesday, 24 April 2012



First up, thank you so very much to my Mother, Grandmother and Marian, they gave $300 between them, I don't have the words to express how generous my family have been, it's truly... thank you so much, I am humbled !


The school term is about to start again, something I think might be hard for those at home to understand is the lack of resources schools have over here.  The local "Education Department" supplies the curriculum and a few bureaucratic administrators and that's about it.  Locals have to pay for their own teachers (often controversial, as there is often the thought that the more you pay, the better your marks) , their own buildings, their own resources and the list goes on.  Teacher wages on the whole are not high... $80 - $100 a month... yes that's right A MONTH ! and that's mostly from money from locals and donations.  So if it seems odd that I spend money on education, that's because if the local NGO and volunteer community didn't, there would be very little indeed.  Without some education, what chance to the children have of any future above subsistence level ?

Otres School

The school term is about to start again, I went out the other day and spent some time playing games with the kids.

Games with the kids during the Khmer New Year Holidays 

No parents, he and his brother squat under some
tin at the side of a farmers shed.
Games always involve helping them improve their conversational English.  As I mostly work with Grades 1 and 2, as you can imagine their linguistic skills in their native Khmer language aren't that great, let alone a foreign language like English.  Some of the kids lack even the most basic skills, like how to hold a pencil but they laugh and love life, and there is something to be said for that.

Just getting to the school is a tricky business
Locals doing bridge repairs

Dodging the buffalo and his scat !
and, as you who know me realise, I am not a teacher but I do the best I can. I'm learning with the help of resources from Kelly McCrae and the internet. Next week we are going to teach basic hygiene to children who have never brushed their teeth or even own a cake of soap. Should be very interesting.


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