First Day at Chup Crocky
Phumi Samraong (3) Travel Blog› entry 32 of 54 › view all entries
We woke up the next morning around 6am. Everyone here pretty much goes to bed shortly after dark, and wakes up with the sun. We woke up and had some instant coffee for breakfast with some cookies (I dont like coffee, so just had hot water). Marc, the french guy who was also volunteering, showed us where the "bathroom" was. No, there is no bathroom, but a 5 minute walk behind the hut, through the tall grass and plants, and there was a hole dug in the ground where you could do your business.
After coffee, we all put on gloves and were handed cutting tools to hack down some tall weeds from a field in front of the school. The school that was built in Chup crocky recently, was across from our hut and a big field was in front where they were working on chopping down all the tall plants around the school.
Then we went back to the hut for breakfast #2. All the food was prepared by the women of the family we were sharing the area with. Basically a little grouping of shacks made up the "house" for this family. One hut was used for the volunteers to sleep in, one for the family we were with to sleep in, one for cooking, and one for general storage. The family consisted of a mother, 1 older daughter, 2 sons, and some other children and people who would also walk around but it was hard to tell who was part of which family since the village was so communal.
So back to breakfast #2, breakfast was ramen noodles, which was tasty. Then we found out that we just sit around most of the day now. Steve and I were shocked. We asked what do we do now, and Marc, the fr.
First we went to the watering pump again to try and wash up better. I attempted to wash my hair in a bucket. and we washed our muddy clothes from the moto ride the day before. Then we walked around the village some, but there was not much to see.
After washing up, we noticed some children playing at the school so we walked over to interact with them. They all scrambled to the desks as if ready to be taught, as soon as we walked in although it was not time for school yet. Since they were at the desks and just staring at us, Steve and I went over saying the numbers in English with them which they were good at, and tried to teach some adding.
Around 12noon we had lunch. Lunch was rice with hard-boiled eggs. After lunch, at 1pm was school. There are about 30 children in Chup crocky between the ages of 3 and 15. Only about 20-25 or so show up for english class. The class is all mixed with different ages at different abilities. Marc led the class by first going over different colors and then different english words. He would hold up the word such as Pig, and everyone repeats and he writes it on the board and all the children practice writing it on their papers. It was rather amusing to watch a french guy teach English to a bunch of Cambodian kids, since his prononciation was not much better than theirs, the children were learning to say English with a french accent, but didn't know the difference.
School only lasted for one hour though. After that the children would play in the school or go back home. Steve and I stayed to watch the children play some games where they run around. Then at 3pm, Antoine teaches a Thai lesson for half an hour to the children. Since the village is right next to the Thai border, many people use Thai as the main language in the market, so it was also important for them to know Thai.
After Thai class, from around 4pm until dinner which is around 6pm, there is not much to do. Steve and I walked around to explore the village more but there was not much more to see.
Around 6pm we had a dinner of rice with fried eggs. I was beginning to think that eggs were the only food there was other than rice, but later meals had more variety. Then tonight was theatre night, a once a week event. The "theatre" meant a small TV that was run by a generator for one night, and the whole village gathered to watch it. It started at 7pm when it was nearly dark outside. Everyone showed up to a hut down the road and watched some Thai/Cambodian music videos and a Thai action show that was badly dubbed in Khmer (the language of Cambodia).