25.01.2013 - 25.01.2013
FRIDAY, January 25th
My morning went smoothly and all classes were enjoyable. Lunch break was just so civilized: Time for a swim and to start reading a new book. I went back to the school a little early for the afternoon.
Veasna was busy talking to all the students: some new room arrangements in the dormitories. Also, arrangements about who would be going to the farm for the weekend – to leave tonight. There is excitement about going: rice to be harvested, fish to be caught and it seems lots of fun to be had. Once the arrangements were made and the groups broke up, I asked Veasna if it might be possible for Sonia and me to go just for one day. No problem: he will arrange a taxi at 7 a.m. on Sunday, which will cost us $5 or $10 each. We will come home with the kids in the truck in the evening.
My class started late, so we did an abbreviated class. My 2 slow readers needed help without singling them out. We went over sounds, ah, bh, kh, dh, eh etc –not the name of the letters Ayh, Bee, Cee. I called on each student, (the 2 needy ones, a bit more often) and pointed at a letter somewhere in the alphabet. They had to say its sound and give a word that started with that sound. I worked through all except for C (K sound or S sound), I (ih sound or Iy), Q (which is always with “u”: Qu, which sounds like kw) and X (which sounds like ks). I got them to write down those four and we worked on their sounds, and various words that included the sounds. I insisted that this would help with sounding out words. I believe it will.
I stayed on at 5:00, and sat for supper at a table where the 2 youngest boys were eating. I pantomimed eating and a tummy getting big. Panha, sitting on the table, copied me, and kept laughing about it. The other little boy, Komsot was a bit more shy, so he hid behind Panha while one of the nannies spooned supper into him.
Before long, supper had been finished, and I popped home for a quick shower and a change. When I returned, the van had been packed up and 22 of the older kids were waiting to get on board. They left for the farm before the dance performance started.
I was greeted by name by a couple who were visiting ACODO for the evening. They were Canadian and were thrilled to hear that a Canadian was volunteering. They had enjoyed their visit around the orphanage, and they settled into their front row seats for the show. I sat at the side, in the seats for the kids. Most of the remaining kids were backstage as they were in the performance. Panha and Komsot are both under 3, and they usually sit with one of the older girls or play on the ground near this seating area. I must have looked like a good cuddle to both of them, as these 2 little boys climbed onto my lap: cuddling in affectionately, but often hopping down and scampering around during the performance. The performance didn’t suffer from being left to mostly younger kids. Each dance was still done exquisitely, with beautiful dance steps and graceful hand gestures. The place feels quite different with so many of the older kids missing, but the younger ones had plenty to be proud of.