Saturday, 30 September 2017

Day 6

Like yesterday, today we woke up and went to the Marist Brothers Education Centre where we ate breakfast. Then we alternated our activities from yesterday, either gardening, painting doors and window sills or teaching the younger children for the morning. After this, we travelled with the older kids to Pailin's Buddhist temple, where we had to walk up a large flight of stairs - but it was all worth it as when we got to the top, the view was amazing and there was a large Buddhist statue, temple and sacred animal statues. We then travelled to the Thai border, we got so close that Thailand was only 100 meters away. Brother George informed us of Cambodia and Thailand's rich history and relationship today. On the bus ride back to the Education Centre we sang songs with the Cambodian kids - some in English that they new and they sang us some Khmer songs. We were also able to extend our Khmer vocabulary by having some of them teach us simple phrases. At the Education
Centre we had lunch and then the kids showed us a common Cambodian fruit called 'ompel' that we picked from the trees and ate. It was sour but tasted amazing. They also had a pomegranate tree and we were able to sit with all the kids and share together. We taught them games such as AFL, tunnel ball and touch football as they had many balls, but didn't know any games. It was good to teach them some common Australian games. After dinner we went to the church where the brothers told us of their story about their vocation and what lead them to Cambodia. We said a pray, and as Marist's were able to sing the Salve Regina together. As it was our last night in Pailin all the children had a fun time dancing together. We taught them the Nutbush and Macarena, and they in turn taught us some traditional Khmer dance moves. It was an amazing experience and a modern way to break the language barrier and to make strong bonds with the kids here. It is something we will cherish forever. We are so grateful for the time we have gotten to spend with them and are excited to continue on the rest of our journey in Cambodia.