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Published: October 16th 2010
The plan was to teach English for a few days in a school providing free education to underprivaledged children in Thnol Trong Village, near Siem Reap. Unfortunately, the night before we were due to start the heavens opened and flooded half of Cambodia, including the school. Savong, the owner, asked us if we'd like to go to the orphanage that he also set up instead to play with the kids. We jumped at the opportunity.
So we've spent the last few days traveling to Thnol Trong Village and visiting the children in Savong Orphan Centre. The days started with us being picked up by tuk tuk and taken to the centre, a half an hour journey allowing us to see the extent of the flooding of people's houses and land. We then joined in with the English lessons and even gave our own lesson which was completely new to us, but we think we pulled it off ok. PE and free time came next where we'd play games with the kids and taught a bit more English to Kimsan, a 16 year old girl who wants to be a teacher when she grows up. When we were leaving she said
that she'd never forget me and that she loved me.
Savong met up with us on the first night to explain a little bit more about the children. Some of the kids have at least one parent but their families are so poor that they cannot afford to keep them. He asked us to write a bit about our time there on his website whilst we grabbed some food at a western style fast food joint. Savong is a nice man who has obviously done a lot of work for the children. His school has over 600 pupils who fit in study around working in the fields to provide food for their family. It's quite amazing how keen the children are to study.
Working with the kids has been a real highlight of our trip, they were so welcoming from the start. A girl wrapped her arms around me and didn't let go for at least ten minutes and Steve was used as a climbing frame and generally had at least two children on him at any one time.
These last few days have been a real eye opener, one which has been quite difficult to see.
The children have so very little, but are still so full of spirit and fun. We'll not forget them in a hurry, that's for sure.
Lots of love
PS If you'd like to read a bit more about SOC here is their website: http://www.savongorphanage.com/
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