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Cambodian Trip August 2015

August 2015

The bags are packed and we are ready to go. We have 2 bags full of t-shirts,

shoes, books and crayons (50 kilos+) We also have $2,275 in donations.

Thank you to all those who have supported us.

Mr Fotheringham has also secured a pledge from his company to support 2 teachers for one year at a cost of $70 per month each person.

We are off. Heathrow to Singapore then connecting flight to Siem Reap. Its a big plane - just like a double decker flying bus and we are on the top floor.

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It's a long journey - simply - morning fight - straight to dinner and then breakfast - and a lot of films in between (including the new Cinderella!)

 

Arrived in Singapore early Thursday morning with an hour to get to our connecting flight to Cambodia - but we made it by the skin of our teeth.

 

Thursday

We landed in Siem Reap and after lots and lots of paper work we managed to get to the baggage area and there to greet us were our two bags of Lympsham goodies!!

 

On arriving at our hotel we went to bed for a half an hour nap - two hours later we were cooling down in the pool. They are waiting for the rainy season to start so the air is hot and humid most of the time.

 

In the evening we met up with Syden and his lovely new wife, taking with us the two bags from Lympsham. He was so grateful. We went out for a Kymer meal which was delicious. Then back to bed for 7.30 pm. We slept until 6 am without a break!

 

 

 

Friday

Today has been very busy. Up at 6 for a 7 am start. Our first visit was to a village government school. It was prize giving. It was Syden's old primary school where his father had been the 'principle' (headteacher) He told us that he had been invited to give the gifts at prize giving. He said that because we were his guests we were very important. We had to wear special scarves round our necks.

 

 

 

Nothing prepared us for what happened next. We arrived to a crowd of children , parents and teachers. We were formally introduced to the government district officer for education. We were given seats on the top table and after, what seemed like hours and hours of speeches in  khymer, we were asked to help give out all the prizes. 

 

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After that we followed a very bumpy road to the school that Syden is establishing.  It is still very much in it's early days. As we were sat talking children started to appear as if from nowhere. It was time for their English lesson. Mr Fotheringham was very impressed by their writing - but was a bit taken aback when he was asked to mark it. Syden then asked me to talk to the children- so we sang a song and I told them all about the children at Lympsham and showed them your pictures!

 

It was at this point that all your gifts and donations came out. The children loved them- it was interesting watching them sniff the T shirts - they have never smelt fabric conditioner on clothes before. We do have video and photos but they are not on the iPhone so I cannot download them at present. They played with bubbles and balloons and as we left the village later we passed houses with bubbles and balloons bouncing around - and a lot of giggling!
In the evening we met up with Syden to discuss the way forward. The rainy season is about to start - dengue fever is already dealing a horrific blow and malaria cases will soon be on the increase. Consequently mosquito nets can be life saving pieces of equipment. Mrs Blacklock has scoured the internet searching for mosquito nets but they are cheaper if sourced locally. Syden is buying 100 nets - he will then distribute them in the village for the poorest families. The little school room needs a floor and some tender loving care. The rainy season will stop any further building or heavy maintenance so any further physical development will have to wait until April. Syden's major worry has been the wages of the teachers- but hopefully the pledge to pay for 2 teachers over a period of a year will resolve this.

Saturday                

Our time in Cambodia has come to an end. We have completed our task for now. Syden has promised to keep us up to date with progress and send pictures through to us.

Today we flew back to Singapore - it has been a very very long and hot day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tomorrow we start the next part of our trip. I hope you have enjoyed reading about the past few days - and perhaps know a little more about the Kingdom of Cambodia. Happy holidays and I look forward to seeing you in September.
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