A Travellerspoint blog

School is so much fun!

Another great day at school. I had one of those days where everything seemed to go well as far as lessons go and it is such a great feeling and one of those times where you know why you are a teacher. It helps that these kids are simply amazing and make teaching a joy as they just love to learn and are so eager to be there. I also helped Sineth in the classroom today and got to play with the little grade 1ers they are just so adorable!! Every day I learn more about myself and my ability as a teacher and once again feel blessed for the experience.
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Today at the school some students who are learning to be barbers visited and gave the kids free haircuts to practice, as Kaann our translator told us it is a win-win for everyone. Another interesting thing that happened at school as when we arrived they were having assembly and this went for an hour! The kids were being told the rules of the school and they all stood there quietly listening to the teacher, certainly different to Australia!
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The highlight was the dice game that Lauren came up with.. this game involved the children being divided into two groups and had to roll the dice to see what part of the face they would draw. It works like this
You draw the circle for the face
Lauren then pointed to a part of her body and one person from each team had to guess which body part it was in English. The first person to yell out the body part correctly was allowed to roll the dice.
Each number on the device represented either eyes, ears, mouth, nose, hair or eyebrows.
Each time they rolled the dice they could draw one part of the face.
The first team to finish a face wins.
It is a great English lesson as they learn body parts in a repetitive but fun way. This little fella was so excited about rolling the right number it cracked us all up. Our mouths were hurting from laughing so much.
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In the afternoon I helped Sineth with the Grade 6ers and helped him a little in the lesson. I taught the kids the action and word hurdle and had to help Sineth with the very Fish.. the English language is so confusing as fish is both a noun and a verb.. I admire these kids for learning so well.
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We got home with the intention of watching My Khmer Heart a movie we had been told about and all wanted to see but could never get organised enough for us to sit and watch it. So we made a promise that as soon as we got home we would watch it. Of course when we got home there was no electricity!! We are doomed not to watch this movie. Ashlee, Lauren, Tara and myself headed to the juice bar as Sophie and Kristie were resting and had the yummiest mango and passionfruit smoothie.. so yummy and only $1.50 if you are ever in Siem Reap be sure and check this place out, they also have the cutest little maltese dog that allowed us to pat him and play with him.
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When we got back to the guesthouse the electricity was back on. Yay! Lisa met me at the guesthouse because we were going to check out a tattoo shop here.. I am going to get a tattoo in khmer that says “To travel is to live” just under my breast on the rib cage (yes I know it will hurt). Unfortunately when we got there the guy had left early so will have to try again tomorrow.
We had ½ hour before we had to meet the girls so we went next door to Miss Wong’s cocktail bar and had a cocktail. I ordered a random cocktail that had vodka, Frangelico and cranberry juice.. I was just curious at what it would taste like and it was pretty good! Lisa ordered a White China which had lychee juice and jasmine tea which was also very good. We then headed off to the New Leaf Book café where we had a delicious meal and we were going to watch a documentary there but our dinner was too late so decided to skip it.
We went into town to go to the Le Crepiere to have sweet crepes for dessert but they were closed so Tara and I grabbed a banana and Nutella crepe off one of the street carts which was delicious.
I then ruled up some pages and organised all my stuff for lessons tomorrow and am now writing this blog intead of sleeping which I really should do as I have to get up at 5.20am tomorrow eek!

Posted by sonya13 07:23 Comments (0)

The Wedding Crashers - sort of!?

Today was very exciting as we were going to a Cambodian wedding! We got up early and headed into town to have breakfast.. I had the most amazing breakfast of Pancakes, sausages, eggs, bacon and tomato.. I am getting bigger and bigger every day!! When I get home I am going to go on the biggest fitness and health regime.. but while I am here I am not going to worry!
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We headed off in the bus to get to the Cambodian wedding. We had no idea what to expect but were all very excited and felt privileged to be a part of it all. When we arrived the sister of the bride who is a teacher at Kurata school looked so happy to see us and ushered us inside and sat us at a table. They were very attentive bringing us ice for our drinks and nibbles. We were the only guests there and realised we were early. The bride looked stunning as did her handsome groom.
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Let me tell you how this part of the Cambodian wedding went from my perspective. So the bride, groom and their attendants are at the entrance to the reception area and greet every guest as they arrive with a favour.. at this wedding it was a beautiful pen. As the guests are arriving there is music playing (very loudly) and drinks are on the table - a variety of softdrink and beer and you get a bag of ice to cool the drinks down.
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Food is brought out with about 6 courses of different dishes.. all very yummy! During eating and drinking they got us up on the stage to dance and thought that was a great laugh.. it was heaps of fun and we even got to dance with the bride and groom. We truly had a great time.
During the afternoon people would come up to us and insist we drink beer and clink our glasses together in endless cheers! It was really very fun and I can see why Cambodians love a good wedding. Our bus driver seemed to really enjoy the food! When they hand out dessert they also give you an envelope and on the envelope you write your name and insert money before putting it in a heart shaped box at the entrance.. much like a wishing well in Australia. After a few hours we decided to leave all of us feeling privileged and blessed to be a part of something so special.
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I can't believe they all treated us like VIP's when we should have been bowing to them thanking them for having us.
We were all pretty tired after our big day and Kristie and I headed to KFC to grab a late snack.. it was ok but not as good as home or the other wonderful food we can get here. We then finished watching Gravity that we started last night and were not sure if we liked it or not :/
I spent some time planning my lesson and doing some writing before heading into town to have dinner with the girls.
We had dinner at Viva which is a great mexican themed restaurant and then headed to the night markets.. but apparently there are a few night markets and our tuk tuk driver took us to one that was very touristy and smelled heavily of marijuana! We plugged in night markets in google maps and discovered the one we were looking for was the Angkor Night Markets.. they have great stuff at a much cheaper price and so I did a bit of shopping :p I bought a bit of jewelry, a couple of dresses, some hair clips, a few gifts for people and a gorgeous vase.

Posted by sonya13 06:17 Comments (0)

I rode an elephant

Woke up this morning feeling very excited about riding an elephant! We grabbed a tuk tuk out to Ankor Wat temple and arrived at the elephant station where we checked in and paid our $15 for the elephant ride and our $1 for a pineapple to feed the elephant. Kristie and I were like little kids we were so excited. An elephant came back from taking some tourists for their walk and so I fed him a pineapple, they are such magnificent creatures and I just loved being so close to them.. I was conflicted about how we were using them the way we were it seemed undignified for such an amazing animal.
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After feeding the elephant we got up on a platform and hopped on the elephant! It was very high and I was a bit apprehensive but once on it was amazing. We went for a short 15 minute walk around the temple and stopped to take photos and just enjoyed being so close to the animal.
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They seem to be treated well and are healthy and their trainers seem to genuinely care for them.. I sure hope so.
After the elephant ride we took our tuk tuk to Anker Tom where the trees are growing inside the temple.. think Lara Croft. It was very cool but packed with people and I have to admit they don't have the gravitas they should have as they are just too touristy.. should get a guide and really learn the history of the temples to get the full impact of these amazing sites.
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By the time we had got through the temple we were starving so we caught our tuk tuk back to Pub Street and ate at a great little cafe called La Boulangerie where I had the most amazing chicken burger. We had a look in a few little shops and I was starting to wear out because I am fighting this cold so we headed home. We spent the afternoon watching the movie Saving Mr Banks.. all DVD's over here are $1 and surprisingly good quality. I really, really enjoyed this movie as I am a huge fan of Mary Poppins so that was a nice way to start the afternoon.
Ashlee and Lauren asked if anyone else was keen to get their hair washed and i was like hell yeah! I love a good hair washing with a great head massage.. so we googled good places to get a hair wash in Siem Reap and found a blog post from a lady who recommended this little salon not far from us. We went there and despite very limited English we managed to convey we just wanted a shampoo and blow dry. It was so nice and my hair feels amazing and all for the princely sum of $3!
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After our hair being done we noticed a Swensons Ice-cream shop so we decided to indulge ourselves with a sundae... OMG it was so delicious but so filling... I felt sick I was so full.
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We came back to the house where Davy and her mum were preparing us a beautiful meal from a recipe that had been handed down for many generations. It was so delicious and Davy and her mum were delightful company as they told us stories and shared photos and told us what our chinese zodiac signs meant. It was a lovely evening and I really would like to talk to them both more about their lives.
After dinner we decided to go to the night markets so that I could buy a dress for the wedding tomorrow and because we hadn't been there yet. It was a great market I really liked it there and after I found a dress and had a look around we got a 15 minute foot massage from a very cheeky massage guy who was flirting shamelessly with all of us but especially Ashlee LOL.. Sophie was getting a pedicure so Tara and Ashlee went home and Kristie and I went for another wander around the markets and stopped at this groovy bar where I ordered a mohjito while we waited for her to finish up. We have just got home and are putting on the movie Gravity to watch until we feel sleepy. Have the best roomie .. luv ya Kristie!

Posted by sonya13 08:06 Comments (0)

BINGO!

I woke up soooo tired and really not feeling well but thought I would be ok to go to school. Within 10 minutes of arriving I knew that I would not be able to get through the day but was going to try and stick it out, however Ashlee and Lauren were lovely and told me to go home. I am so glad I did as when I got home I slept nearly all day! So either I had some sort of virus or I was just exhausted. I have to remember that I am 41 and not 21 and I need to moderate my pace. I feel so silly though when I look around and the local people work so damn hard and I can’t cope with the same workload. Poor Kaann had worked all day yesterday, before going to his second job last night teaching English and then was up all night with his baby boy who was sick and he managed to last the day  I feel like such a sook!
After the girls got home Tara and I went to Lucky Mall to pick up a few things and see how we would go as we had slept most of the day and weren’t sure if we were getting better. I still felt fragile but was way better than the morning. I then dropped some laundry off the local Laundromat where we are now their best customers and got dressed to go to Bingo. I probably shouldn’t have gone and have a quiet night but I didn’t want to miss anything.
I am so glad I went as I had the best time. It was held at a great little pub called Rosy’s and it is run by a guy called Smiley who is English, he was lovely and chatted with us and told us about a friend of his who is a tattoo artist and rang him to organise us to get our tattoos for Sunday.
I had one of the best hamburgers I have ever eaten, bought our raffle tickets and bingo cards and settled in to play. We had so much fun and Sophie won twice – a free moto checkup which cracked us all up and a lunch gift voucher. I won a 60minute massage so was very happy and Lisa won a free ceramics class in the raffle.. Ashlee, Lauren and Ashlee’s friend Evan didn’t have any luck but we all still had heaps of fun. The total cost for everyone for dinner and drinks for the night was only $43! Such a cheap great night and Smiley really wanted us all to continue partying with him but we were all really tired and I am still not feeling the best so we headed home.
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Posted by sonya13 22:31 Archived in Cambodia Comments (0)

Let's build a cabinet

There are no English classes on Thursday's so we all got to sleep in. Kristie and I slept in until 9am!! I woke up not feeling 100% and think I might be getting a bug :(
I spent the morning getting organised for classes the next day, went to the photo shop and printed photos and got some worksheets printed out. Tara and I had lunch at a little restaurant two doors down and then went off in the bus to do some building. The bus driver didn't speak English and we had no idea where we were going and what we were doing so it was all very mysterious and exciting. After what seemed like forever and going through dirt roads and little villages we pulled up at a health clinic where we picked up Kaann! Yay Kaann is great fun and we get along really well with him and so he told us we were going to a local carpenter who was going to show us how to build a cabinet for the school. Because Tara and I were feeling unwell and Kaann had to go to his other job we decided to leave a bit earlier. We also wanted to check out a school we passed on the way. Kaann had told us about an Australian project that had constructed the school and he had been a part of it.
So we get to the carpenters house and he shows us what he wants us to do - basically with a chisel and a hammer we need to cut out the sections of the wood that will slot together. Sounds easy right? WRONG! It was so hard and I got two blisters.. the bus driver watched me try and do one and grabbed the chisel and hammer and chipped away at a section like a boss LOL.. I kept chipping away doing my thing it took me forever but by the end I had got the hang of it.. it was actually a very nice afternoon with Kaann as the interpreter we chatted with the carpenter and played with the puppy and checked out baby chickens.. we also put our iphone on to listen to some music and LMFAO came on with Party Rock and I swear a chicken started shuffling right beside us.
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On our way home from building we stopped in at the school. It was so impressive and I was completely blown away by the work the volunteers had done. It is amazing how so little can go so far in this country. It is truly humbling. Spitler school for example was started with just a $900 donation.
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Tara and I got dropped off at the old markets where we bargained down a local market stall for two beatboxes (so I don't have to sing at school anymore) and two portable iphone chargers for $110. Bargain! She wasn't going to go lower but I told her it was for a local school and she softened. Then Tara tried every ATM in Cambodia and managed to shut everyone of them down LOL.
By the time I got home I was feeling very unwell and so took my antibiotics and had a shower and skipped dinner with the girls. My roomie Kristie came home and looked after me making me some toast and a cuppa. Hopefully I will come good with the antibiotics.

Posted by sonya13 02:05 Archived in Cambodia Comments (0)

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