English Posts

February 4th 2013      Thakhek: Cave tour



Today, Celina and I went to see the caves around Thathek. A Tuk Tuk took us to the different caves:









First cave




Selfmade map for the cave







"The oldest something in the world" (as it was written on the map)





Our tuk tuk driver


Family is producing silk for a decoration for the Buddhas in the cave











Second cave




Snacks





We went swimming in this lake





Third cave














February 3rd 2013          Four Thousand Islands

We spent our first night in Laos on Don Det, one of the four thousand islands in the Mekong river.
Although that Laos is known for almost no tourism, we found alot

 of tourists on the island when we got there late at night. We even had troubles finding a room because most of the guesthousses were booked because of all the tourists.












February 2nd 2013           On the way to the border to Laos 




Two days ago Celina and I got up early in the morning (5 am) and took the bus to the border to Laos. Here a few photos of the 12 hours ride:












Border (Cambodia -Laos)







February 1st 2013             Biggest market in Siem Reap


Here a few pictures of the biggest market in Siem Reap, where Celina and I went on our last day in Cambodia.

 Road 6


















































February 1st 2013           Paying out the children's pocketmoney



Today, the children of Swiss sponsors got their pocketmoney. Besides this pocketmoney a lot of donated toys made the kids brightly smile ;-)



Receiving the money



Distributing toys, toothbrushes, toothpaste and soap















A fingerprint prooves that the child received the money






The money was used right away to buy some snacks

































When Chorm Chork hugged me to say goodbye, he laso said that he would miss me a lot. Hearing these kind words I could not hold back my tears! When his mom hugged me for a long tgme in a very kind hearted way, I could not stop crying, and she also cried when she said goodbye. Apperently Chorm Chork cried as well, as the waitresses from the guesthouse told me, but little Chorm Chork did not want to be seen crying so he hid behind the house.








February 1st 2013              Angkor Wat part II


This morning, my friend Celina and I went to see more of the temples of Angor Wat and the temple Angkor Wat itself  :-)

Angkor Wat
































Ta Phrom






February 1st 2013           Apsara Dances

Yesterday evening, my friend Celina and I went to see an Apsara dancing show in town.
"Cambodian Dance is an important form of art and culture to mark the national identity and the soul of the nation. The Cambodian dancing is divided into three main categories classical dances performed during specific ceremonies in the royal palace, popular dances performed to highlight the daily lives of the people,and traditional dances performed in various ceremonies in order for social reflection. The mixed-up dances are performed to attract tourists who are interested in Cambodian art. Khmer classical dances and songs are embedded in the Cambodian people's minds and hearts.
Apsara Dance is the most important dance for Khmer culture and the national heritage, which has been inherited by Khmer ancestors. Even though male and female dancers have been changed from one generation to another, the techniques of the dancing remain the same." 













January 31st 2013              My last day at school :-(




Today was my last day at school :-( After the regular English clas we had a small farewell party; we played Bingo and had a Piñata. Together, we worked on the papier-mâché amimals last week and on Monday we stuffed the animals with candy. Then, the kids did not know why they had put candy in there, but they likes to shake it and listen to the sound of the candy inside. So, today I hung up our papier-mâché animals as a Piñata and at first the kids were suprised, but the they quickly realized that it would be fun to hit the Piñata with a broom's stick. They asked for permission, but I told them that we needed one more thing and when I came back with a scarf to cover the eyes the  liked this game even more. The kids had a lot of fun hitting the Piñata and sheering for their classmates, but what they liked most was collecting all the candy ;-)





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I miss my little sunshines already that have been warming my heart with their bright smiles, pure laughter and big hazel eyes and everyone who has been here and met them knows what I'm talking about and feeling right now...



January 30th 2013                Angkor Wat part I



Yesterday, a German friend that I met in Nairobi arrived in Siem  Reap. Together, we are going to travel a little more within the next few weeks and today we went to the temples of Angkor Wat with an American guy who is also staying at the Guesthouse.

Srah Srang





Banteay Kdei









Ta Prohm 








Ta Keo 






Chau Say Tevoda


Celina & Paul




Same architecture as Angkor Wat






Bayon








January 29th 2013         Last week at school: Afternoon class


Today I did not work with my small art group because I want the students to get used to a regular day of school without me since I'm leaving soon. After all the kids had copied the vocabulary we played Bingo and we sang many songs.
I was going to upload a song by the children, but for some reasing it did not work out. Instead, I'm posting photos of la  st week when I visited the class in the afternoon (1:30 pm - 4pm).


Chun Kungkaer repeating the vocabulary words (she is like an assistant teacher in the classroom and strictly makes sure that all the other students are quiet und copy the vocybulary words)
















I think that it is great that the students here help each other a lot, even if they are not being asked for help

















The kids of the afternoon class were not that familiar with all the material in the newly decorated computer room. They used this watercolors as rockets since they are in a box that looks like one ;-)









The teachers joined the students and also painted













The bos are dancin the Gangnam style, which Cambodians love













January 26th to 28th 2013        My weekend at Cambodia's coast



Today I got back from a very relaxing weekend at Cambodia's coast.


I took the nightbus on Friday night and arrived in Sihanoukville Saturday morning around seven. I took a boat at eight to go to Koh Rong, one of Cambodia'sislands that is known for being a quite paradise without masses of tourists.

Here a few photos:



















Only in Cambodia you can see something like this ;-)















You can also stay in one of those peaceful bungalows











I spent most of the time on Sunday on one of the many beaches in Sihanoukville










And they really exists: Body lotions to whiten your skin! I thought that I could be proud of my teint that I've gotten by now, but a lot of Cambodians tell me that they like my skin because it is so white.... 







January 25th 2013         Silk Farm



A few days ago I went to visit a silk farm in Siem Reap with four young people from Chile who are currently staying at the guesthouse. There we watched the whole process of producing silk  from the moths to the weaving of scarves.

Here a few pics:


moths



                                                           larvae

















cocoon of the larvae that is used to gain silk





collected cocoons from the mulberry trees 



The cocoons are boiled and their outer shell is taken away as s string to gain silk



The outer shell is taken for low quality silk








The inner part of the shell is taken for high quality silk, you can even see the larvae that are still remaining inside the cocoon






Dying with natural products










weaving



Setting the pattern of the scarf









It takes about for days to weave a high quality sraf like this






Now, I'm off the Cambodia's coast! Il 'm not taking my laptop with me, so I won' be able to post anything on the weekend, but I'll get back to you on Monday! Have a great weekend everyone!!!



January 25th 2013         Time to read!



The kids love the books that I provided and read the stories very often. Sometimes even small groups begin to form and one student reads ou a story to his classmates.



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video


Today the teacher read a story to all students:



















January 24th 2013         Today at school: Flower paintings

Today we worked with water colors again and painted pictures of flowers.

First the kids spread water on the back and front of the paper.





Then they painted the flowers and the background.




Chun Kedv diddn't like her flowers anymore and painted over them so that all of it became a colorful background. Then she painted black flowers on it again and colored them. The other kids liked that idea very much and copied it. Unfortunately, some of the paintings had looked better before, but the kids had so much fum experimenting with color and watching in surprise how their backgrounds turned out, that I let them do do that. 




















The children liked playing Bingo so much that they had prepared charts at home. So, today we played Bingo again ;-)










The older students had heard about this fun game and today they came by to join us for Bingo ;-)













The winner of the first prize:



January 23rd 2013      Renovating the old computer room



In the last days we worked on the rearrangement of the old computer room. It used to be a computer room, but it has not been used as for a long time anymore. Instead thos room stayed empty and unused. Together, Roger, Sun, the principal of the school and me thought of a way to use the room again. Now, we reaaranged it to a recreation room. It's a storage for books, games and puzzles and arts material. Whenever there is time left before the kids go home, the teacher can open this room and the kids can take out whatever they feel like doing (reading, arts, games).






















The kids liked this room very much and took out some of the new English-Khmer books right away. This room also helps to organize all these things and the kids imidiately realized how to keep it clean and organized. After they were done doing puzzles, the but them back in the bags and hung the bags correctly on the hooks, without me giving them these instructions.
































January 23rd 2013          Today at school: Bingo 



Today we palyed Bingo at school and we could even give prizes to the  lucky winners thanks to the generous donations of the sponsors that visited us and donated these gifts. aIt took a long time till the students and their regular teacher understood the rules of this game, but once the got it, it was a lot of fun for everyone. We are going to play this game again the next days and I might change the numbers to vovcabulary words, so that they can practise their English a little more and revise their vocabluary words.


































The lucky winners:




1. prize: A watch





2. prize: A wallet







3. prize: coloring pencils








January 22nd 2013         Today at school: Angkor Wat



Today we continued our work on the papier-mâché animals that we gave feet today.





















Then we worked on a theme: "Angkor Wat". I handed out photos of these popular temples and first the kids drew the temples and statues and then they colored them with crayons.













































Here some pictures of some really good results
























I really liked Rady's artwork because he realized that the statue on the photo is missing its feet, and so he added feet on his picture. ;-)



January 21st 2013       Art exhibition of paintings of the Small
                                      Art School in Sun Sothy's Guesthouse


Tomoko and her team of the Small Art School (http://smallartschool.org) came by this afternoon and brought paintings that are exhibited in Sun Sothy's Guesthouse (http://www.sunsothy-guesthouse.com/index.php) from today on. The "Small Art School (SAS) is a self-financed art school, founded by a Japanese art teacher – Tomoko Kasahara, with the aim to provide free art education to Cambodian children, especially to those children who have the will to learn but lack the opportunities to learn." Forty percent of the proceeds of sold paintings go to the Small Art School to maintain free art material and education and sixty percent go to the young artist.


Here a few photos of us setting up the exhibition:











Six paintingss are already displayed in the restaurant and within the next few days we will set up the paintings in the seven bedrooms.




































  


January 21st 2013            Today at school: Paul Klee's
                                                        "Senecio"

Today we worked on one of the most important European pieces of Modern Art: Paul Klee's "Senecio" from 1922.



Here a print of the original:





First, I handed out a printed drawing of this painting, which the students had to cut. The they put the pieces together as a puzzle. For some of the students this was a very difficult task, since the had not worked with scissors before.





























The paint was applied by sprinkling. Unusual techniques like this usaully motivate the children to experiment with color and to try differnt methods to apply the color.



























































































January 20th 2013     Khmer Ceramics



I came back from Phnom Penh today and relaxed at the pool, so there are no interesting news to talk about.

Last week, however, I went to a workshop at Khmer ceramics and they showed my how do pottery. Roger, Sun and Kidscare  also support Khmer ceramics. When two friends founded this company the couple helped them out financially abd now kids of Kidscare get instructions in doing pottery there. (http://www.kidscare-cambodia.ch/ch/index.php/en/projects/ceramics-workshop)

Here some photos of the workshop:


























































January 19th 2013    Phnom Penh part II: Searching for 
                                      traces of Cambodian History

As a History student I'm convinced that we are what we are today because of our history. So, in order to understand Cambodia and its people a little more, I went to see some historic sights today.

Unfortunately, Cambodia has a dark past, too. From April 17, 1975 until January 7, 1979, the brutal, ultra-Communist Khmer Rouge regime controlled Cambodia, then known as "Democratic Kampuchea" . The Khemer Rouge was headed by Pol Pot. During their short reign, almost two million Cambodians were killed or died from malnutrition, neglect and mistreatment.Some of the horrific remmants of the Khmer Rouge regime can be seen at the Coeung Ek Memorial ("Killing Field") and the Toul Sleng Genocide Museum and that's where I went today.


First, I visited Coeung Ek Memorial. Many of the Cambodians who perished under the Khmer Rouge regime ended up in one of the 300 "killing fields".. The killing fields were essentially ad hoc places of execuution and dumping grounds for dead beodies during this regime.






Today, you can not see any of the buildings that used to stand here. However, the huge mass graves remind us of the terrible murders. A couple of these mass graves were opened in the 1980s to do some research, but the majority of these graves have been left untouched.What I found extremely horrible was the remains of humans and their clothes that lay around and that tourists stepped on. These mass graves are not bounded to a certain area with a fence but they also stretch behind fences all over this area. 







Babies and infants were beaten to death on this trunk of the tree. Eye wittneses who found the mass graves after the terror regime reported that they saw blood and parts of huma brains on the bark of this tree.







To keep all these horrific murders secret they hung up speakers in this tree and played loud music, so that nobody could hear the victim's painful screams.




In remembrance of all the victims, this stupa was built that keeps some of the sculls and  remains of the victims 





Afterwards I went to the Toul Sieng Genocide Museum (S 21). Prior to 1975, Toul Sieng was a high school. When the Khmer Rouge came to power in 1975 they converted it into the S-21 prison and interrogation facility. Inmates at the prison were held in tiny brickcubicles and systematically tortured to get the desired "confession". anfter which the victim was inevitably executed. 
























































Even in nowadays the blood stains on the floor proof the terror of the Khmer Rouge



 







Besides the places of the terror reign, you can find other traces of the past in Phnom Penh: There are a few colonial buildings that still exist and that are an architectural proof of Cambodia's colonial past.



































January 18th 2013        Phnom Penh part I



At 1 pm I took a bus from Siem Reap to Cambodia's capital: Phnom Penh. I arrived around 6 pm and explored the city. Here some of my first impressions of the Mekong river and the city:


















I experienced what every travel guide says: Phnom Penh has a lot more traffic and is much louder than Siem Reap








January 18th 2013          Small Art School

For a few days we have been cooperating with the Small Art School  (http://www.smallartschool.org/EN/).
Thanks to Roland, who also designs the websites so well,  we got in contact with the Japanese lady who runs that school. From Monday on Sun Sothy's Guesthouse (http://www.sunsothy-guesthouse.com/index.php) will exhibit a few of the childrens' masterpieces. These won't only be decorating the walls, but also be offered for sale. Sixty percent of the money of sold paintings goes to the painter and forty percent goes to the Small Art School to provide free art material and education to Siem Reap's children. A few of the paintings even won prizes in international competitions, and some are even exhibited in galleries in New York City.
Yesterday afternoon, I went to the Small Art School to join their classes. The kids worked on paper collages in this lesson.





















































































Tomoko Kasahara, the founder of the Small Art School, surprised me with a generous donation for the art classes at our  Kidscare school . Again, we would like to thank Tomoko very much for this kind support, we really appreciate it!!





Here you can see Tomoko teaching art to Cambodian children:




Older children (18 and older) work on  paintings on the first floor. There are no restrictions what to paint and what not to paint; the kids can work freely. The teachers offer all the freedom that the children need to be creative, that even includes giving a key to the house to the children so that they can come and paint whenever they feel like it.









































Also, some of the younger childrens' paintings are exhibited on the first floor.


January 18th 2013        Today at the school: Papier-mâché 
                                                     animals part 1




Today we worked in our small art group with ballons again, but this time the kids started working on creating papier-mâché animals. The kids covered the balloon with newspaper and a lot od glue that Sun and I had made. First, the kids were a little confused what to do because this was the first group project. After they had organized their groups and the work everyone did, they had a lot of fun. Quickly they started to have a competition which group finishes the fastest. The kids had a lot of fun working together in their groups and competing against the other two groups.


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Da die Kinder so schnell fertig waren, durften sie endlich mit Perlen arbeiten, was sie schon so lange wollten.


























January 17th 2013                Bakery


This morning the bakery that Roger goes to every mornig to buy fresh bread for the guests burnt down. It was either a cigarette of o guest  of the neighboring guest house or an electrical short that started the fire AT 1 30 am. Within twenty minutes four houses burnt down. Luckily, the bakery was one of the lasts ones, so that a lot of it is still left. Unfortunatly, the firefighters could not save thehouse of the family who owns the bakery.





In this bakery the people work very traditionally with almost no machines and a lot of manual labor. The bread is backed in wood fired ovens.











                                                                                      You pay your bread to the old lady

























After the fire













I asked the family if I was allowed to take the last pictures and the lady who runs the bakery recognized me because I had visited this bakery once with Roger. She told me the whole story of what had happened. It was very touching that all these sad people talked about their fate and gave vent to their emotions so so freely with a strange person around. I gave them a small donation for reconstruction and for hope because it seemed like these people had lost their hope. I also suggested putting up a box for donations because I saw a lot of people passing who only went by and starred at the disaster.



January 17th 2013       Today at school: Painting a picture 
                                                         to a story



Today I read a story to the kids of my art group and afterwards the kids had to paint a picture to this story


Here is the story


                
Ballon story: The story of the kid that always wanted to have more


The grandfather wanted to buy three ballons for his grandson at the carnival, but the child was begging for more: "I want to have many many more!". Persuaded, the grandfather bought him ten more. However, the boy was still nolt satisfied and still wanted more. Finally the grandfather bought him more ballons until he had 50 ballons.


Then the kids were asked to guess what happened next to the boy and all the kids agreed that the boy would  be lifted up in the air. All the kids screamed "up" and moved their hands up to demonstrate that the boy would be lifted up.

Then the kids had to paint a picture to this story.

































After they were done painting the boy and his balloons, the had to paint the background. Before coloring the kids used a candle to treat the background so that an interesting affect appeared after painting over the wax with water colors.











Results:














The balloons that I brought for demonstration ware later used to play with ;-)

























In the first lesson we do arts and sometimes it takes half of the second lesson. Once we are done, we all clan up together and when everything is claned up, I've always asked the kids to copy the vocabulary. By now all of them have internalized this structure, so that they write down their vocabulary without being asked. Once they are done copying the vocabulary, they can play games or do puzzles. Meanwhile I work with some of the younger children that do not know how to write the English words yet. So, at the end of the day every child has written down the vocabulary.










Two of the younger kids that I help copying the English words:









Instead of playing games a lot of kids of my art group asked me if the could draw again. Of course I handed out the material, but this time the kids did not get a specific task. When I saw what thy were drawing, I was very surprised because I recognized some of the projects that we have done together.




















A lot of kids must have liked the elephant project because man drew an elephant.



















Chun Kedv even put almost all of our projects in one ppicture: She drew an elephant, a ballon and typical Cambodian motifs (plants, fruits, fields)





January 16th 2013       Today at school: Hearts and kisses



Today we worked in our small art group on a funny project. Yesterday some kids formed hearts with their fingers and some of them even said "I love you". So I thought about how to turn this idea into an easy art project.
So, at the beginning of the lesson I introduced the words "heart" and "kiss" by using body language and my little writing board. Then I told the kids to make hearts by putting a lot of lipstick on and kissing the paper. The kids had a lot of fun putting the lipstsick on, kissing the paper and goofing around with their red lips.So, this project was not a classical project in art education, but it was project that encouraged the children to have fun and to use unconventional methods when creating a picture.


video






























Afterwards we worked on an origami decoration for the classroom





























January 15th 2013      Today at school: Mixed techniques part II



Today we continued our work on our elephant project in our small art group. After the paintings got dry very well over the night, the kids spread some glue with a brush over the elephant's body. Then they spread sand over the sticky glue, so that a rough elephant skin was created.  






Spreading glue on the elephant's body with a brush





Spreading sand on the elephant's body






Afterwards the kids had to trace the elephant's shape put again. Then the kids decorated the elephant with glitter glue, which they enjoyed very very much.
































Decorating the elephant with glitter glue






















































Proud examination of the masterpieces



Results






















I accidently got some of the glue on my fingers when I  tried to get more glue out of the tube. Then I thought about what I could do with the glue because I did not want to wash it off and waste it, so I stuck my index in the glitter glue and made some glitter glue dots on the children's noses. The kids laughed about this a lot and liked it very much, but what they  liked more was having a revenge and make some glitter glue dots on my face ;-)




Sweet revenge brings joy (note the laughing children in the background)





My face painting at the end of the day





Also, we had some visitors over at the school today. Three young tourists from the guesthouse (a Dutch couple and a French guy) asked of they could join our class and the Dutch couple and I agreed that they even took over part of the class. So, they tought them how to make their own ballons that they can blow up out of a piece of paper. Both, the kids and the guests enjoeyed the visit very very much.




















The boys loved to scuffle with the strong French guy




January 14th 2013     Tady at school: Mixed techniques




Today the kids of the art group learnt to create a picture using a mix of techniques. At first, the kids drew an elephant (graphics). In the beginning the children thought they were not able to draw an elephant themselves, but when I showed them how to do it the started drawing their own elephants and the results were simply amazing! The elepahnt was supposed to get a typical Asian decoration and some kids just copied the decoration that I had drawn, but others invented an own decoration and added extra accesories.
























After they were done drawing they painted the background colorful by painting many colorful dots with watercolors. The kids enjoyed painting with the big brushes and and the coloful paint boxes very much.




















During recess the kids insistedn on continuing their work. The older kids that are taught in a classroom next to them came by and wanted to see what exactly  keeps the young children so busy.

















The results of the day








January 13th 2013        Bike tour



Today I went on a bik tour with a young Dutch couple that has gone backpacking in Asia for four months and that is currently staying at the guesthouse. Together we explored the idyllic landscape outside the hectic town and the masses of tourists.






We followed this dirtroad towards the mountain. Although riding our bikes was very exhausting in this fine powdry sand and during the strong midday sun, wen enjoyed our trip and got unforgettable impressions of the countyside.



rice field




Family takes out their cattle to graze





Woman is collecting water lily leaves to eat














The most impressive experience was watching a group of young boys. They went to a lake to swim , fish and eat the fish they caught there. We were impressed by how professional these kids were when it came to providing food for themselves in the wilderness.










Lighting a fire to cook






cooking rice




Preparing the fish to cook




January 12th 2013        Foodmarket in our neighborhood



Today the electricity was cut off from eight am to eight pm because they had to lay new power cables. Without a notice beforhand they took the power and nobody knew when we would have power again. When I rode my bike back from town I saw that the entire village was illuminated by candles.




Having dinner






The people at the market also kept theior business going by using candles





Usually the market looks like this
























A few days ago I bought this plant with the lilac bloom as a birthday present for Sun Sothy. When I came home with the flowers Sun saw the already and I felt totally embarassed becuase her birthday was the following day. Sund and Roger did not understand why I was so excited, since they thought I had bought that plant to have ot cooked because this plant are not flowers but vegetables from the swamp ;-)







January 12th 2013       Today at school



Today's art session was an education of different types of hue. First of all the kids had to choose LIGHT crayons only and I was surprised, becuase the kids did a very good job choosing the correct colors. Then
they painted the undercoat very colorful in different bright colors.


They took out the light col,ors of the package and left the dark colors behind












             





Afterwards they painted over the colorful bright colors with one DARK color




Teamwork
























Finally they scratched images into their paintings. By using a sharp pencil they were able to remove the upper dark cover and the bright colors appeared. The kids had a lot of fun, since it was a surprising artwork - they never knew which of the bright colors may appear.










During recess I put out a puzzle to play with. I did not expect such a rush on it, but when I saw that the kids enjoyed the puzzle very much, I too out the other two puzzle that I had brought with me.




















January 11th 2013        Khmer wedding




Yesterday I had the honor of accompanying Sun Sothy and her two daughters to a traditional Khmer wedding of Sun Sothy's youngest brother. We started early in the morning at 5 am and drove 170 km to Battambang, where the wedding took place at the house of the bridal couple.





We arrived there three hours later and traditional luve music had already been playing and a lot of other people had been busy preparing this big event. Some people had been dusy cooking food in the courtyard and others had been decorating the room in many colors. A traditional Khmer wedding is one of the most joyous occasions for a Khmer family and typically lasts many days.





Cambodian weddings are long and intricate affairs that consist of  multiple ceremonies and songs. W celebrated on the second day with family and friends of the couple. After we qrrived, we ate breakfast, rice soup. Aftter breakfast the family changed outifits, from now on they wore traditional dresses. Haistylists and make-up girls styled, who had also styled the bridal couple early in the mornig, then styled other guests.




Nach dem Umstyling haben wir uns an einer Zeremonie beteiligt, in der das Brautpaar schon seit mehreren Stunden saß. Die Zeremonie bestand aus mehreren aufeinander folgenden Ritualen. Als Beispiel soll hier die Zeremonie des Knotenbindens genannte werden (Sompeas Ptem).Die Gäste treten hervor zum Brautpaar und teilen ihre Wünsche und ihren Segen mit. Dabei binden sie rote Bändchen um das Handgelenk des Brautpaares.
After the styling we participated in the ceremony that the bridal couple had been taking part in for many hours already. One of these ceremonies is the knot tying ceremony.  Family and friends are invited to come forward to bring their best wishes and blessings to the new couple by individually tying ribbons around each of their wrists.






After the ceremonial part we all had lunch. We also drank a lot of beer and as the Cambodians like to do, we also said chers many many times. ;-)








I also got to talk to a lot of Cambodians at this weeding. Even though their English was not good enough for profound conversations, it was very interesting talking to them. A group of older men talked to me and they introduced a guy who had lost one of his legs due to an anti-personnel mine. Now he has a prothesis. His fate clearly shows that the mines that had been place along the Thai border are still a huge problem today.


The bridal couple changed their outfits four times taht day and some of the guests also changed their  outfits many times. The bride even wore a white wedding dress for a short while, as it is typical of Western cultures.
Here's a picture of the first outfit:







It was an amazing and unforgettable  celebration! Many thanks to the family forwelcoming me so kindly!!!




January 10th 2013       Temple across the schools's street



Today "only" a few photos that I took of the temple which is across the school's street. Its architecture is amazing and it is surrounded by lots of beautiful monuments.



















Actually, I went to a Khmer wedding today, but you'll get the article about it tomorrow  ;-)






January 9th 2013            Bloom Cambodia: Sewing my own 
                                                      recycled bag




Today I went to a workshop at Bloom Cambodia (http://www.bloomcambodia.com/) and I learned how to sew my own recycled bag. I could choose the color ond design of my bag which is made of recycled sacks (e.g. rice sacks).


Hier ein paar Bilder:


Cutting






















Sewing










Final product


























January 8th 2013            Free Rice Giveaway



Kids-Care Cambodia was giving away free rice today to the poorest of the poor Cambodian families. It was amazing to see how joyful and thankful they were when they received their rice. A bag full of rice means probably nothing to a Westerner, but to these people it means hapiness and joy, since they do not have to worry about food for a while.

Here a few pictures:





































January 8th  2013                 First day of school as a volunteer




Today was the first day of school for me as volunteer at the BBC: International School, a project of Kids-care Cambodia. It was a very exciting day and I was welcome by a lot of kind hearts.

Entrance of the school with all the bikes that were sponsored by Kids-Care Cambodia in front of it






Class started after the early morning greeting






I worked with a small group of children  while the regular teacher taught English to the majority of the class


We worked on our first art project




The classroom:  on the left is the English group and on the right is the art group




Our topic was "My Cambodia". I told the students that I'm from far away and that I had not had an image of Cambodia in my mind before I arrived here. They were supposed to draw a picture of Cambodia with typical cambodian elements, so that a foreigner gets a a first impression of this country.













This topic seemed a little difficult for some students, since they had no instructions what  to draw exactly. Also, some students might not have known what is characteristic for their own country.Nevertheless, we got a lot of great results, here is just a small selection.














It was very impressive to see how much time and effort the kids used to make sure that they write down their names correctly. They checked many times their names as they are written on their identification tag.



Afterwards we played pairs. The children had to find a matching pair of the same animal. We also revised counting in English when we palyed this game, because we hand to find a winner at the end.




After cleaning up, I helped the regular teacher to check on the vocabulary words that the students were supposed to copy. 
At the end of the lesson all of us went outside and there we all played a game.



Whe wen said our goodbyes I got a lot of hugs. Never before had I seen children expressing so much love and affection to a compllete foreigner!  





 January 7th 2013                  Visiting Current Projects of Kids-Care Cambodia

Today was a public holiday, so the kids did not have to go to school. Roger took me to  some of the current projects of Kids-Care Cambodia. Here is an overview:





The wooden paneling is being replaced by corrugated sheet metal, which is stouter and more weatherproof





Old wooden paneling




Replacing the old wooden paneling by corrugated sheet metal




Material for the upcoming construction of a toilet



A water well sponsored by Kids-Care, which is already in use




Cooking area




The family of the house (the mother is a single mother)







In a rice wine distillery

The distillery is run by a family who is also supported by Kids-Care














A completely refurbished house with a toilet and a water well








Landscape










Girls (also supportes by Kids-Care) climb into trees to get some fruits

The fruits they got where shared right away with other children of the village








Child with a very creative self-made toy













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