project review

Soap nights and hot air balloons

Review submitted by Harry & Jankee
Review date 2 Mar 2017



Kids at Cambodian SchoolSo, I've just finished week four and it's hotting up here in Siem Reap (37 degrees this weekend).  Time is flying by. I love, love, love it here.  The school I'm teaching in is very basic, but the children and the monks are just wonderful - the children make me origami birds out of scrap paper and bring me flowers they've found almost every day - it's just the sweetest thing ever! 
The guesthouse we're staying in is great - Jasmine Lodge - it's nice and central, and having been there a while, I feel like part of the extended family - I've even started watching the Thai soaps at night with the girls - they (the soaps and the girls) are hilarious and they're trying (mostly in vain) to teach me some Khmer too! 
Kids at Cambodian SchoolI've been to some of the temples which are just out of this world - there really are no words to describe how phenomenal they are.  I've done a cooking class in Siem Reap which was brilliant and have loved trawling the markets for scarves and banter with the stall holders.  Having your feet eaten by mini fish in the Night Market is another must do here and it's guaranteed to put a smile on your face and clean up the nastiest of traveller's feet to boot!
Cambodians are, without doubt, some of the nicest people I've ever had the pleasure of meeting.  Despite hugely traumatic recent history, they are warm, friendly and love nothing more than to laugh.  The children I teach are terribly poor but couldn't be more charming or keen to learn.  Last week we started making paper maché balloons, which we will eventually turn into hot air balloons which we plan to suspend from the ceiling of the classroom to brighten the place up a bit - the children have taken to that challenge with gusto!  We've also tried to teach them rounders (using a bit of plastic tubing as a bat, a rolled up scarf as a ball and coconuts as bases!) and they loved it!
Kids at Cambodian SchoolI couldn't recommend Cambodia more - I've been to some great places in my time (Africa, Mexico, India, Australia and other parts of Asia) and I don't think I've enjoyed anything as much as I am loving it here. I can't wait to log off and get to school to see the little monkeys in my class!!!


So, week four and still having a fantastic time here! Time has flown by. The teaching is going very well and is so fulfilling especially when you see them improving their skills and really see them trying hard. Last week we started a papiermache project making hot air balloons and it was amazing. We were a bit worried that it would turn out to be a disaster and there would be glue flying around and newspaper in our hair, but the children were so diligent and looked so proud when they finished papiermacheing their balloons. The monks seemed to have a real laugh too and it was certainly the talk of the day with all the nearby villagers gathering around to see what we were up to.

Kids at Cambodian SchoolAs for accommodation and Siem Reap itself, I don't have a bad word to say about it. The guesthouse is amazing and really is a home away from home. The staff have really made us feel at home and are always on hand for any travel queries we may have. Siem Reap is a great town, so much to do. We finally visited Angkor Wat and it was breathtaking as well as hilarious stumbling around in the dark before sunrise with our phones as torches. We are definitely going to go again and see some more. We also went for a cooking class on the weekend and my pumpkin soup was the best thing I have ever made!

Read more about the Cambodia Teaching in Siem Riep project.