Well, what can I tell you? These past two weeks have gone rather quickly. By Monday I'll be half way through already! That's mad. Time really just goes. Do it now before it's too late. As I have gotton to learn about these kids, from their names, to aspirations, to hobbies, to homes. They really have begun to affect me. I think when this is all over, tears will be shed.
Day to day I'm teaching a general overview of the English language, in fact I'm running out of simple things to teach. My class has the biggest discrepancy of levels. Some kids are very good, others have a small grasp of the language. Therefore trying to cater to all levels makes life fairly difficult but who doesn't love a challenge. Trying to keep them all engaged within my lessons is the hardest part.
Every Friday they have a test. Which is a general revision of the weeks work, so it writes itself essentially. Then they have a simpler lesson after which is mostly games. However yesterday after the test I got them teaching me Khmer as a table turner. They loved it! Engaging them on a different level as they became the teacher and me the student. Being a teacher means they get respect. Lots of bowing and a different attitude to learning to the one in England as the teacher is to be respected here. Which is good as I wouldn't quite know how to deal with a khmer kid mouthing off.
At break times I get to go out and play with the kids. Whether that's 'chose bi chun' (kick the shoe) a game which is similar to bowls or curling but you use your shoe haven't quite fathomed it yet; or football shuttle cock which I think I managed to somehow bet a $1000 on with my small bit of khmer. All a bit of fun but the kids love it and so do I. Some of the very young ones are completely gobsmacked when I speak khmer. They just stare, mouths agape.
Apart from that what's been happening? Generally football with some expats and then football with some locals on the riverside. Most of my money is spent on delicious food. This consists of fish (yes mum, fish of many types, some I don't even know) cakes, apples, mango and many others. I then was robbed last night by a monk! I always tell people don't shake hands or out your hands out as people will put stuff on them and you are expected to pay. What do I do? Shake hands with the friendly monk, 5 minutes later a massive shark tooth necklace and two bracelets I'm $5 down. God dammit. Never mind at least i have been blessed. I think. After dinner and a chat with a very drunk American bloke who eventually ended up having a fight nearly with the hotel owner as he took his money away to get him to stop buying alcohol. I went for a walk. Everything being offered as per usual 'tuk tuk' 'lady' 'marijuana' one of these moments I was distracted, uneven floor and a tripped and my flip flop broke. Flip! I was walking along trying to fix this and again I was offered a tuk tuk right next to my hotel.
'What happened '
He takes it from me and fixes it. After a joke of me nicking his flip flops, he says sit down. So we talk in Khmer! It was slow but I got my ideas across and understood his. Eventually after a while of this he says 'Yeung Chang baan kumpong' which translates to 'we would like beer' I fathomed out what he was saying and managed to get out of there not in a harsh way it's just the culture here of drinking. I also wasn't going to buy beer for people I'd just met and not drink any of it.
Then it was bedtime. I was fairly tired quite early as I read that you can solve toilet problems by not drinking caffeine and I had been drinking a tonne of coke. I was also up early to catch a bus to the beach town of Sihanoukville.
Which I'm now on as I write this. Watching Khmer dubbed 'Avengers' I just hope it's nice on the coast!
Link this time: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rbNP5yqg7hc
Football for Kampuchea
The website for the charity Football for Kampuchea (F4K). It contains all the details you want to know about us and even a place to donate!