Last day of work, and some final thoughts …

The Teachers agree that the two weeks of workshop delivery has been by turns demanding, fun and funny, as well as humbling and have surpassed the aspects of what might seem like “hard work”. All our teachers muster the passion for the final day.

The group can agree that their Cambodian experience has been deeply rewarding and enriching, both professionally and personally.  One of the best aspects has been the collegiate atmosphere we have observed developing; between the teachers; Australian and Khmer alike. It is bittersweet to be finishing up today.  Our indispensable translating team will be joining the group for a celebration dinner after our second graduation ceremony this afternoon.

The teaching team can be proud of a job well done as our trip draws to a close.

Today the Projects team were joined by teachers Amy and Gwen for another health program day. Today’s operation ran much more smoothly as we rotated children through Ed’s calisthenics, hand washing with Maggie and Amy BB through to toothbrushing with Gwen and Amy S, to their final stop of weighing and measuring with Cathy, Graham and Marilyn.

The team sees to the hygiene education of around 70 kids and hopes some of what has been imparted today stays with them.  Here are some snaps of the Project team in action.

All this week in Kampong Cham the group have passed the same two women beggars as we head to dinner or the markets.

They are utterly destitute and sleep along the main road by the river in front of an abandoned shop. The group has speculated on the two women’s relationship – mother and daughter ? Grandmother and granddaughter ? Whatever their situation, it doesn’t matter to the group.
The women sleep together every night on a thin bamboo mat with their meagre possessions strewn around them.  We all have pause for thought as we walk by.

A day or so after our our arrival the younger of the two women appeared with a nasty looking black eye. We suspect she was attacked.

We are proud to report that every single person in this group has ministered to these two women in the last week in some way.  A smile and acknowledgement, saving and giving food from lunch or dinner, supplying drinking water, a few dollars here and there, giving shoes and toiletries that would have otherwise been binned and even a packet of cigarettes.

We all worry about the women, so exposed and vulnerable on the street corner. There is no welfare system here and we hope our token efforts have provided some small comfort to these two.

As we prepare for our journey home our thoughts turn to the bigger picture and Cambodia’s future. The country feels vulnerable like these two destitute women, and is like a shy teenager with post traumatic stress disorder only now finding its feet.

Mostly we are hopeful about Cambodia’s future and feel grateful to SeeBeyondBorders for the opportunity to see and experience a country on the cusp. We all hope the move forward for these people is in a positive direction.


Author: SeeBeyondBorders

SeeBeyondBorders provides children in Cambodia with access to quality teaching and learning at school. Our approach is through sustainable development, helping communities help themselves.

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