Hello, my name is Lucy. What is your name?
Trip Start Jan 07, 2012
30Trip End May 09, 2012
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Where I stayed
As night set in though I freaked out as was divebombed by hundreds of insects, and started to get very nervous about teaching
Negative points are the squat toilet, which is 'ok' but feel a but exposed when using it with mosquitos buzzing round, also we have to wash using cold slightly-stagnant looking water. We have a camping stove to cook on but only bought crisps and biscuits so have been living on a pretty poor minimalist diet. By the end of the week we both felt quite weak and malnourished. The neighbour can cook for us but after sampling it one night, although amazing it is very spicy and I was almost sick in front of them after trying an interesting salt/chilli blob.
So then teaching... the Cambodian teacher Naal (who also practices his English with us in the evenings) is there in the background but we were pretty much chucked in there. The kids are all well behaved and just seem so happy, always smiling. They are quite receptive and seem to enjoy learning. They know basic English and we are teaching sentences such as 'What is this? What is that?' I did feel quite out of my depth at first but gradually felt more used to it and we got in the swing of who was doing what
Later in the week Kate & I got into a good routine of relaxing/reading/cycling between lessons, and in the evening we sit by candlelight and play cards, chat and listen to music. Really glad she's there; its a bit mad being put into a new & stressful situation with a stranger but we are helping each other and having fun too.
On Friday we escaped back to Siem Reap and immediately ran to a pasta restaurant to fill our stomachs. The excitement of running water and bread was immense. Later we met other volunteers then had a well deserved sleep. A very exhausting week...
Week 2 of village life now complete- went much more smoothly and quickly than the first. Got in the swing of teaching and not dong much in between. The food situation was a bit dire still as ingenious ants managed to infiltrate all our food. For the last 2 days lived on bread and mysterious biscuit tubes from the local market. Have also gained a painful stomach, although that's a given for being in Asia apparently so something to check of the list.
Highlights this week include being taken on motorbike to a huge village funeral, where hundreds of school kids, villagers, normal orange monks and white-robed woman monks were gathered to watch the coffin be carried around the local area. Very colourful and flowers everywhere. Apparently in the evening they burn the coffin in the middle of the village. I was stared at a LOT and still not sure whether I was really welcome. Sat awkwardly on the floor trying not to show too much calf whilst they all prayed and chanted. It was really interesting though and definitely a one off experience.
The last day of lessons went well and I was really sad to say bye to the kids and village. They all swarm about and shout 'Hello teacher!' Lots of other random kids peer in the windows and doorway. At break times they play jump rope (literally jumping over a bit of rope they hold up), or clamber over a fallen tree, its worlds away from the UK. Bit of excitement when a snake appeared in the classroom- I cowered in the corner with the girls whilst the boys smaked it to death with a flip flop.
Tomorrow morning catching a boat to Battambang, which is apparently the most scenic boat trip in Cambodia, looking forward to that and exploring more. xx