Friday, 30 October 2015

Day 6 - Goodbyes are never easy

With a blink of an eye, we ended our last day at Watrotka Primary school. And even though our Cambodian adventure is winding down, the memories gained from our short 3 days at the school has left us with memories to last a lifetime.

The day started on a happy note with the birthday celebration of our team member Gordon. Happy Birthday Gordon!

We were treated to a lovely morning assembly by the kids at Watrotka Primary. They sang their national anthem with gusto despite the sweltering heat. This was followed by a prize presentation ceremony for the top academic performances for each grade.

For our last day at Watrotka, we treated the kids to a games day full of fun and games. It was a joyous occassion with fun for both students and us. Just look at the happy faces below.

We showed them nostalgic games from Singapore such as Chapteh and Jump rope. In addition to this games, we also got time to spend quality time with our students, making goodbye so much harder to say.

But our day was not all about fun and games. We also completed the kitchen we built for the primary school. Having seen the state of the kitchen on our first day, we are incredibly proud that we were able to donate a fully sheltered and functional kitchen complete with the neccessary utensils. 

We got to personally hand over the kitchen to the principal of Watrotka Primary. He mentioned that our contribution would greatly help in feeding the children breakfast and lunch before they start class. This made us feel good about ourselves having contributed to the lives of the kids that we grew attached to.

Today was definitely a beautiful end to our Cambodian journey. We came here as clueless students but left as people who have impacted another life.

Goodbye is indeed a hard thing to say. We will always remember the smiles of our students and their earnestness to learn. They have taught us more than we had taught them. We will remember you in our hearts forever Watrotka.

Reflections from Day 6 -

"This trip impacted me especially when they remembered and called my name. After day 2, they started to warm up to me and asked me to play with them. Today impacted me the most as we had to leave them. My students called out my name as we were leaving. It has only been a few hours but I miss them already." - Juzairy (3N1) 

"What impacted me most was completing the kitchen for the kids. Before we came, there was no kitchen at all and the kids must have gone hungry before class without it. I know how it feels to be hungry and the feeling is not one I want anyone to have. Now, with the kitchen we have built, I hope that the kids will be able to go to class with a hot meal in their sotmachs and this can help the, study better." - Priya (3N2) 

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Day 5 - We (almost) nailed it

Today is our second last day to Watrotka Primary school. Many of us arrived breakfast drowsy and half asleep despite sleeping early last night. Yesterday was a tiring day and today promised to be a similar one.

As today was our last day teaching at the school, we wanted to ensure that we did a proper wrap up for our lessons. We also wanted to make sure our students had actually learnt something new.

Teaching was tiring but we felt a sense of achievement after seeing the bright smiles on our students' faces.

In addition to teaching, today was also the day we were supposed to finish constructing our kitchen. We had a long list of tasks ahead of us but we endeavoured to finish as much as we can.

Our construction work started with adding water to the sand base to pack the sand tightly. What seemed like an illogical task worked effectively and the sand base for our cement floor was packed tightly.

Next up we needed to mix more cement for the floor. Compared to the previous day, we needed 4 - 5 times more cement. It was definitely a test of our arm strength and stamina.

Other than mixing cement, we also needed to continue reinforcing the structure as well as creating a wooden sign for the kitchen.

We all got a chance to hammer in nails and reinforce wooden frames despite gaining sore arms after. Following that, we needed to prepare the structure for the final stages of construction. We also started installing the zinc walls onto the structure.

It was by no means an easy task but we achieved it through teamwork and cooperation.

Slowly but surely, our kitchen started taking shape and we cannot wait for the cement flooring to harden.

The kitchen looks way better compared to our first day right?

What a day, it was tiring but it was definitely worth it. After having a sumptuous dinner, we are now back in our hotel to rest and prepare for our last day at Watrotka Primary (Games Day!)

Reflections from Day 5 -

"Today was my third day of teaching and doing hard CIP. The class was fine as they listened well. Despite being noisy, they were willing to participate in our lessons. For our hard CIP, I tested my physical prowress by helping to mix cement and hammering in nails. Today I learnt to step out of my comfort zone and approach tasks with a good attitude despite not being strong." - Fitri (3N1)

"I experienced sadness as I realised that I will miss my students a lot. I also felt accomplished after seeing how much of the kitchen was built up since starting on it since day 1. I was also taught to be happy after seeing one of the students, who has an underdeveloped arm, enjoy life as per normal. If i had the same disability, I would not have been able to approach life with as much enthusiasm and glee." - Belinda (3C)