Rural School Volunteering Program Cambodia 2014

Ok I have some time, so, Cambodia. I think as a country I really like it, I got to see a few different cities in my time there, which is a bit of a challenge with only being able to travel on weekends, but I made it work. It’s drenched in the history of the Khmer rouge and it feels like such a young country because of that.
Oddar meanchey I think especially is still somewhat reeling from its occupation as the last stronghold with samraong being at its centre.The Volunteer  project is really great, everything runs quite smoothly. The volunteer housing is nice, able to house quite a number of volunteers comfortably. Typically it’s 4 to a room (2 bunk beds), but I was only very with one other boy (2 for the last week) so I had a lot of space and there was never any issues having to wait for 3 other people to use the bathroom.

I was surprised to find that I was staying much longer than anyone else with 6 weeks, typically it seems most people stay 2-4 weeks at most, with the rare person staying longer. It’s certainly seems more of a tourism placement than India appears to be. The volunteers were mostly younger too, 20-25 years old.

The culture week was ok, good introduction to getting used to the town and staying at the home stay. The school was the best part though, it’s so nice there. It’s a pleasant 15min ride from the homestay on the bikes, which we did 4 times a day, nothing too strenuous. The kids are great, there’s 5 levels of which I had the top level, being the only native English speaker there so it made the most sense. The oldest they get its about 12-13 with the occasional older kid.

There isn’t really any structure to what you teach, you’re essentially allowed to do whatever you want. Which is daunting at first but after a few days it feels natural, and you get to know the kids quickly. Then it’s all just kinda routine, get up at 7, eat, ride to school for 8, teach until 11, ride home, eat at 12, rest for 2 hours, ride back to school at 2, teach until 5, ride home, eat dinner at 6, talk, sleep, repeat. It’s nice.

The Cambodian teachers are very helpful when you need to explain  something but in general I had no problems with the kids. We played a lot of football which was good haha.

Um, that’s about it really. If you have any questions let me know, otherwise if I think of anything else I’ll email you.

Alex
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