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Monthly Archives: November 2012

Beach Trip!

With rainy season finally behind us we decided it was time for a beach trip. We took nearly 40 of our children and headed down to Henriks bar on Independence Beach. Despite living in a coastal town our kids rarely, if ever, go down to the beach. This is because family members are too busy to take them there and they have very little time outside of school and helping with family chores to get there. It is just a luxury that most of them cannot afford.

Ready for the beach!

While we wanted it to be a treat, it was also to be slightly educational. Rubbish disposal in Cambodia mainly consists of families burning their waste in small fires (there are larger rubbish collections but these are too expensive for most families) and littering is beyond common place. So with this in mind we set about a thirty minute beach cleaning blast. We had explained to the children the difference between natural and man-made materials, though this was at some points lost as a fair few leaves made it into to the sacks. All in all however they did a great job and the beach was cleared in no time.

Sharing the load.

A pretty good collection!

Now it was time for the real fun. Henrik had provided a load of inflatable rings and life vests and with these and a load of inflatable balls, we hit the water. The kids loved it, playing endless racing and ball games and just messing about. Even the youngest ones got involved paddling along the shore line and playing in the sand.

Into the water.

Loving it.

When it was time for a break from the water the kids played football and Frisbee but it didn’t take long until they were back throwing each other off the rubber rings in the sea. They had a brilliant time.To top it off they were then given delicious fried rice and juice from the bar which had them all queuing up for seconds and left them all with nice full bellies.

It was a fantastic day out and we owe a huge thank you to Henrik, Mom and the Small Beach Bar staff for all their hard work in making it possible.

A second thank you has to go out to Matthias for taking most of there wonderful photos!

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Posted by on November 28, 2012 in 2012

 

Football Team Training

We have recently put together a Goodwill Center football team, thanks to the efforts of one of our ex-students Sok Morng (who will be coaching the team). They are fully kitted out and aim to train up and compete in the local school and charity league.

The Goodwill Team!

Sok Morng is an exemplary young man of 19 who has just started at university. When quizzed on his motivations for starting the team his reasons are these:

1. It gives the children of the area a chance to learn about the importance of working together, team spirit, discipline and working hard to achieve a goal.

2. The children attending the center have very little opportunities to be involved in something like this, so it gives them something different to focus on and feel proud of.

3. While using their spare time to train and have fun the children are kept occupied. This avoids the likelihood of them becoming involved in dangerous or unlawful activities and reduces the chance that they would start to take drugs.

Listening to instructions.

While the playground of the Goodwill Center is fairly small, it is ample enough to have very basic practices. The real work takes place on the weekend when the children head to the grounds of the local primary school, where Sok Morng has them running drills and practicing all of their skills. They are all really enjoying it.

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Posted by on November 22, 2012 in 2012

 

The Wedding

It was a milestone in the life of one of our teachers, Ney, when she got married last week. She is a very well respected member of the community here so her wedding was a big deal. The ceremony surrounding Cambodian weddings can last several days (with different blessings and visits to relatives) with guests invited to share the most important day.

We began just before 7am with a procession through the streets up to Neys house. We walked in pairs carrying offerings of food and drinks. On reaching the house you are greeted to blaring Cambodian music and a sit down breakfast of soup and fruit, which took place in a markee outside the house. In the downstairs room the bride and groom sit with their families, again carrying out blessings of good luck.

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The bride then gets a few hours off before the evening celebrations begin. These were at a venue downtown, where you are plied with courses upon courses of delicious food and beer. The bride and groom do their walk down the isle (being covered in confetti and silly string) to a table covered with fruit. They then feed a piece to each of their parents and then to each other. This is followed by the kiss, which marks the beginning of the dancing and the start of the real fun!

It was great to have an evening out with the staff and Ney and her new husband looked extremely happy. It was a great day all round which we were lucky to be part of and we all wish the best for Ney and her husband in the future.

 
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Posted by on November 12, 2012 in 2012

 

The Snake House

As a special treat for the children we recently took them on a trip to The Snake House. A restaurant/hotel/zoo here in Sihanoukville. As the name suggests the place houses a huge variety of snakes, along with lizards, birds, a million crocodiles and more.

It was lovely to see the children out of their normal environment and having fun doing something completely different. Lots of them only leave the immediate area to go to school or to the market so it was a real change for them to go somewhere like this and they really enjoyed themselves.

What’s more is that they were so well behaved, no shouting, dropping rubbish or putting hands into the cages. They were courteous to other visitors and made myself and the rest of the staff very proud of them.

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It was a lovely day out for all of us and one which we will repeat at some point in the future.

 
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Posted by on November 7, 2012 in 2012