Today we went to a village about three hours South of Phnom Penh. The drive was very beautiful but very bumpy as there were massive holes in the road! The village is also very poor but is in a beautiful place, surrounded by coconut trees and rice fields. The colours were vivid: muddy red road, vibrant green rice fields and a clear blue sky. The
houses seemed bigger than yesterday, they were on stilts. There is still just one room, where the parents and all the children sleep. Underneath the house, most places had a hammock and a table made of wood. They sit ON the table to eat! There were cows tied up, the cows quite thin and a creamy white colour. There were goats, piglets, and lots of chickens with chicks. There also lots of dogs, which were a bit scary when they came up and sniffed me.
We played with the children at the school. The school takes children from two communities and has around 130 pupils. We played games with the children, we played ball games and made loom bands. They were amazing at loom bands! We have brought some home with us and Edukid will try to make a massive loom band made by Ugandan, Khmer and UK children. We also taught the children songs like Heads Shoulders Knees and Toes, the Hokey Cokey and Father Abraham. The children were funny, happy and cute. They were really excited about seeing us.
When we were playing the ball game a little girl fainted. My mum caught her! Her name was Srey Nik and she fainted because she was very hot and she hadn’t eaten anything. We gave her Jonny’s breakfast!
Lots of parents have to choose between buying food for their children and buying school equipment. Edukid’s school packs mean that children can go to school and have the opportunity to learn and get a better job one day.
After we played with the children we went on a walk around the village. The people are so friendly. A woman got a big sugar cane and put it through a big machine and squished the juice out, did it again and folded it in half, over and over again until all the juice had come out. Then she took some juice out of a big container and put it in a plastic bag with some ice and a straw. It tasted very sweet with a kind of muddy taste. It was alright but I didn’t love it! Some of the group were asked by a man if they would like some coconut, they said yes and the man climber up a tree to cut them down! The tree was very tall, as tall as a house, or maybe even taller. The man cut the coconuts and threw them, down for Johnny to catch. Then we took them to a lady who cut a bit of the bottom off the coconut and cut a hole in the top. She put a straw in and I drank it. I don’t really like coconut but it was quite nice!
Although the village yesterday looked poorer and the village today was beautiful, they are both equally poor. If a child in the village had an accident, they would struggle to get any help. It has made me realise how lucky I am to have hospitals, doctors, a school, and my own bedroom!
Tomorrow we have to be up really early for a 7 or 8 hour bus journey to Siem reap, about 400 km away. We will spend the next three days in Siem Reap.