December 10, 2012

OCIP CAMBODIA 2012

Hello, let the pictures do the talking first :)
















 





















































Yeap so I'm back from a tiring 2 weeks OCIP trip to Cambodia!
Our homestay was much better than expected. Brick house, clean water supply, supply of electricity, toilet bowls, flushing system, mosquito nets, tatami mats, proper stove. Everyday was filled with activities like doing construction, some teaching, water pump, visiting past projects, going to Little Angel Orphanage.

Something that I must admit is that, during the first 3days, I was feeling super restless and frustrated. I can't help but worry if my kids in Giabac has gotten my letter, if they still remember me, if they would bother keeping my letters safe and sound somewhere, if they will forget about me and accept all the other Saints who are going to Giabac, if the kids here in Cambodia will be as sweet and lovely, if this team would be as bonded, if we would serve our purpose here. Yes, so for 3 whole days, time seems to have ticked by super slowly..

However, after 3 days of getting used to our living conditions and daily routine, things got better.
Maybe it's because we were finally busy and occupied with task to fulfill and work hard for everyday that we come to a realization that time passes by so quickly.
Everyday, we will wake up as early as 6am, brush teeth & wash face together, wash clothes on alternate days, sit by the breakfast table, start the day off with headcount and water parade of 500ml, have hearty breakfast (prepared by the lovely auntie), wash dishes if our group is tasked to, and finally, get on the van and blast music (even if it's just 2 songs) while on the ride to school.

Construction, an on-going daily routine, became a part of our lives there.
It felt that we didn't really do much because when we reached the construction site, the library was already half way up, and that the roof was still in progress.
We only had to do the shoveling of sand, cementing, pounding and... menial things.
How I wish we could have contributed more...
Seeing how the board outside the library said that it was contributed by SAJC kind of struck me as it wasn't just our effort alone. It's the staffs' hardwork too.
However, something that I remembered vividly was how Yanyan & I were finding joy in our work: A battle to see who which loser will get the most amount of sand on our body.
For almost all the passes, we would be frantically trying to splatter the remains on each other.
Kind of played too much cause at one time we dropped the basket of sand :(
But really, as retarded as it may sound, it's actually very fun.
We also had an opportunity to build a water pump and surprisingly it was fun!
It requires great deal of effort to turn the handle, pull it out and drop it back in, but seeing how the rest of the team sits there patiently to cheer you on, you just have to keep on going.
We sang songs to encourage one another and had this mass 'omma appa ahjumma ...' kind of battle cries hahhaha

Teaching of students kind of failed cause 3 of the days when we're supposed to teach the students, they had holidays due to water festival  Soooooo, out of all the things that we planned, we only taught a portion of everything  Was kind of upset that we didn't manage to conduct all our lessons plans when we worked so hard to had it all planned out and ready. However, I must say that we really did a great job cause we had so many lesson plans prepared for us to choose which lessons plans are to be used in order to suit to the students' needs. My group was attached to a grade 6 class. They were all fabulous, eager to learn, sincere, warm and sweet :D I'm really glad to have met them cause they showed me the joy of teaching that I didn't feel from Giabac. It was really an awesome experience to teach a class filled with responsive and enthusiastic people.

To me, the trip was fruitful but not meaningful to certain extent. Although we served our purpose of being there, I didn't feel like we did our best for the community, we could have done more, or better.
It just didn't feel right among the team also when there was some sort of segregation within our very own team.
Maybe it's just me, maybe it's cause my heart is with Giabac, i don't know.
But I felt like I came back with more worries than those that I carried with me there.
Yet on a side note, it was super fun with Huijun and Mel by my side, thanks guys for always being there.
Can't imagine what I would have spent my 14 days without you guys :D!

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