To continue from Day FIVE Reflection blogging of the Ivanhoe Grammar School Cambodia Service Project 2023, this article reposting the reflections from the assigned students on their Day SIX experience and impressions:
Team One, Day Two in the village
Instead of basket weaving and cooking, we had the opportunity to visit a school further away from the village. These children had never seen foreign people like us and they were very excited to talk and play games with us. They especially enjoyed playing naughts and crosses with us on the pavement using the chalk we donated and playing with the frisbee outside. Travelling to and from the school, we rode in a tractor which was great fun, as we were able to enjoy the beautiful green scenery and experience more of village life.
In the afternoon we participated in more of village life, by walking to a nearby catchment of water where locals often go fishing. Many of us tried throwing the fishing nets in with the help of knowledgeable locals, and Claire ended up catching a fish! Some local children came with us to the fishing spot and spent time playing games and talking with us. They showed us how to crack open coconuts, taught us some Khmer and introduced us to a game with rocks they play in their free time. It was such a memorable experience to really interact with these village children for a longer time, as we were able to get to know them really well and create bonds which will stick with us forever.
By Emily and Kate
Day 6, Team 2. Full day of teaching (8-10am; 1-4pm; 5:30-7pm).
What a trip it’s been so far. Waking up for our first morning in the village, we headed off to 48 Colours School in an open trail tractor. Our first session was 8-10. I had created a treasure map, based on the school, the night before so the kids could follow a series of directions to find the prize. We tried to teach them “left and right” with the hand technique. Some may say it was a bit of a flop. But it was worth it to see their smiles when they found the prize (an Aussie platypus) hidden in the sheds wood. The Cambodian girls also taught us one of their own games – knuckles. Which we got addicted to and didn’t stop playing all day (I dont think i’ll ever be any competition to the girls). While we won’t be seeing these kids again, it was great to have met them.
The afternoon class was probably the highlight of my day as everyone was just ready to learn and they were energized to see us. We were lucky enough to teach the same kids as yesterday, they were already very comfortable with us and were not afraid to make mistakes they just gave it a go and laughed. During this session we taught them how to tell the time, and just engaged in conversations with the students. It was very impressive to see the kids use their limited English to form questions and answers. Finally we were given a break to recharge. While the kids were outside playing, we stayed inside the classroom where we were taught a fun and addictive game “knuckles” that took skill and concentration. We ended the afternoon session with a game of fruit salad. It was definantly the best way to end the day. I will miss this class and i hope to come back to Cambodia in the future to see them again!
In the evening from 5:30 – 7:00 we had the chance to work with some of the older kids. Initially I was hesitant to work with the kids similar to us in age as we thought it might have been awkward or difficult to run lessons since most of what we had planned was for younger children, around primary school age, however it was completely the opposite and we found it easiest to connect with them. All the games ran smoothly and having the support of the teacher in thr classroom who was able to translate made a huge difference. The kids were intially a bit shy however opened up as the time progessed. Being able to work with these kids has been a stand out highlight and I will cherish the experience forever.
– Charlotte T
Team Three Wednesday June 21st Samrong Village by Maddie, Ellie and Theadora
Hey pals, here to tell you about day 2 in Samrong Village. We woke up to the lovely sound of rosters the crack of dawn putting a spring to our step. The day started off on a strong note with a traditional Cambodian meal of delectable rice and curry with a side of vegetables for brekkie. The aroma of the rice filled the surroundings and our nostrils, reminding us of all the previous meals. The bread hit hard filling our tummies to fuel us up for the busy adventures that awaited.
A quick turn around from breakfast and straight into cooking. Our chef skills paid off from Ms Filbey’s year 8 food tech class as we prepared and mastered the skills involved in assembling spring rolls. Each person stuffed a thin, circular sheet with carrot, pork and onion. This experience will be taken back to Melbourne with our abilities to prepare, cook, serve and eat these treasures. Once cooked, our mouths were blessed with the best lunch we’ve had to date. These spring rolls were accompanied with rice, noodles, sweet chilli sauce, green curry, tomato curry, fresh vegetables and are sweet potato fries with a rarity of ketchup.
After the filling meal, the sweltering head did not prove a challenge to the locals appearing to play. Three young children’s were playing catch with a ball, rock paper scissors and large amount of high-fives with the fellow Ivanhoe’s.
A quick hydrolyte was popped due to the exponential heat giving us the energy for the hours of teaching ahead. We started off with a three hour session, of three classes with a 15 minute break within. We were teaching 8 to 12 year olds English with the skills of alphabet, numbers, colours, shapes, maths and basic words. The session was rewarding as the skills were certainly improved as the hours went on. It was an incredibility rewarding experience to see each students develop a basic understanding of these skills from the lessons as the hours progressed.
After a break and another hour of lessons by dinner we were absolutely famished devouring everything in sight. On the menu for dinner there was a mango salad, rice and two curries. All ging down well and being very flavoursome.
Shoutout to Angus for having his 18th birthday today and providing us with a scrumptious cake for dessert. He was celebrated with multiple happy birthday’s, a giant birthday card and a t-shirt a couple of sizes to small! We finished off the night making a rice stirring cake delicacy with was oddly delicious. We finished off the night with a wholesome chat with foxy.
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