The House That MAG Built - Part 4 - The Blessing
Siem Reap Travel Blog› entry 13 of 17 › view all entries
Today was going to be a very special day. Not only would we finish the two houses, they would also be blessed by monks and handed over to the two families. But first we had some finishing touches to take care of. Today we were working at House 2 again with the Blue Team and one of the wall panels still needed to be finished. The ladies started working on this, once again adding to the total enjoyment by some lovely singing led by Katherine. Before long someone had come up with the name Kat's Chorus for the group of vocalists. In the meantime Dave and I did our own bit of close harmony upstairs, while sawing off the last extending beams. The local women inside were already preparing offerings for the blessing that would take place soon.
Anticipation was rising when we nailed the final wall to the house and Steve had started to blow up some MAG balloons for decoration.
While the monks continued their ceremony with the family we had a couple of group pictures taken in front of the house before jumping on the bus and riding back to House 1, which was also completely finished.
Before heading back to the hotel there was one more thing on the agenda. Many of the volunteers had brought gifts for children with them, but instead of distributing to individual children it had been (wisely) decided that it would be best to donate them all to a school.
Arriving at the school we found the kids lined up in neat rows. The head teacher welcomed us and thanked us for all the gifts, which would be used to teach the children at the school. Dave and Brett fooled around in the big platoon of youngsters and the ladies taught the kids how to use the big skipping rope. Before long all the kids were skipping, playing soccer or throwing a frisbee around, while we sat down in one of the classrooms to have lunch.
Back in the hotel I decided to take it easy for the rest of the afternoon.
We had a buffet dinner at the hotel, but not before viewing a presentation by the MAG Cambodia team. Two Khmer staff members and a woman named Lauren told us some facts about the important work that MAG is doing in Cambodia. In all honesty, I think it was a bit of a missed opportunity since the presentation was troubled by some technical problems and lack of presentation skills.
I was getting very tired, but having some food and getting the sugar levels up again seemed to help. I had a few beers and some Schnapps with Martina and her friend who had just arrived at the hotel (they would continue for a trip through Malaysia) before retiring shortly after 23:00 hours.