DAY 18, MONDAY, January 21st
I feel like the ‘tripping down the street’ fellow on the Viagra ad. “Good Morning!......” And the day required lots of energy. My first class halted, when I fell through the floor! Well, I didn’t say I fell far: about 8 inches. The clay tiles have been feeling a little bit wobbley. Even at my reduced weight, it finally became too much! So, what was the cause? It appears that mice burrow in the clay under the tiles until they have just removed too much clay and the tiles come tumbling dowm. We, yes 8 kids and me, sized up the problem. Maintenance dept does not exist, so we figured it out. Cupped hands, a rice noodle bag and a shopping bag allowed for a steady line of little helpers to fill the large dips, once 20 of the brick-sized tiles were removed. We carefully packed down the clay, each time fitting the octagonal tile in its tight place. “We” means that I got to supervise while each independent little person had his/her chance. We accomplished all this in just over half of our 1-hour lesson. That left a perfect chance to do “new words” - The story of the broken floor, in short sentences. The kids were very proud of themselves, plus the story of how they helped the teacher preserved in their exercise books.
14 JAN - Having fixed the floor, my Kindergarten students settled in to do some schoolwork.
“Susan’s lending library” is a great hit. I bought a number of little kids books written in both Khmer and English. The older students are trying (in theory, at least) to read the story in English. I can’t measure its impact, but there is real enthusiasm: books are taken care of, always returned the next day for exchange, and if nothing else, students get to hear a Khmer traditional story, and to learn the library concept. At lunchtime, there were 4 or 5 kids sitting with their new books, reading. Kids from the other classes wanted to borrow, but small is beautiful. When I leave after next week, Sonia (an Aussie, Jeff’s replacement) is taking it over. Her classes will then get books for the next 4 weeks.
21 JAN - Susan's lending library is a great success!
21 JAN - My senior class, just hanging out.
21 JAN - Reading new books is popular. 2 girls in my senior class.
A four-hour lunch time goes quickly. I went to town, searching for more stickers for the kid’s books, a little light for reading at night, sandals to replace a well-worn pair. Then I was determined to work on this blog, which due to my inefficiency and the slow internet here, takes an enormous time. I found Jasmine at 1:00 for help with her studies, then got ready to head back to the school. Sonia, the other volunteer at ACODO, spotted me and told me that the older students were not yet back from Pnom Pehn, where they had gone to see about getting passports for travel to Singapore in March. This meant that there would be no afternoon classes. A change in my plans: ahhhhhhhh… the swimming pool.
The pool is serene: a rock arrangement and waterfalls at one end, shaded at one side, a deserted. I floated around on my back; I beached my new slim body and sunned with one foot in the water to cool me. I snoozed. A bit later, a group of Koreans arrived: a teacher and his 8 high school students. Mr Yong and I introduced ourselves and we made small talk. I did enjoy finding out about Korea from him, and I told him a bit about Canada. I’ve taken on the job as secret ambassador for the ACODO evening performance. I told him about ACODO, so there will be guests for this evening for a performance!
JAN 21. Strolling around town. These vets often played music on Pub Street in the evenings.
The rest of today was mine, so I lazed around. Then I went to town for the evening, to walk around Pub Street and relax with a draft beer or two. I enjoyed listening to the music pouring onto Pub Street from each establishment, and a group of disabled veterans, sitting on the street playing traditional instruments. The evening of watching the tourists was relaxing.