On the Sunday, after Rose’s birthday, we went to the local hostel – Funky Flashpackers – to make use of their swimming pool which has a volleyball net. Later on we went to get our first western meal at a wood-fire pizza restaurant… as you can imagine every plate was practically licked clean – pizza made a change to rice!! In the afternoon we experienced our first Cambodian thunderstorm where the rain was so heavy a few of us decided to use the rain to shower!

On Monday we all got back to work on the toilet project. Over the week we made loads of progress, something which was once just a hole we had dug was now beginning to look like an actual toilet. By the end of next week we had finished the brick laying (which is a lot harder than you might think!) and nearly finished plastering the walls. We all engraved our names into the cement on the wall so Grandma Pat will remember us all! All we have left to do is build the door so we should finish the toilet early next week. 

It will be sad to leave the family we have built the toilet for as we have spent every day with them for the past few weeks! On Friday 27th January it was Chinese new year and instead of building the toilet the local village invited us to join their celebrations. They offered us food and beer whilst listening to their Khmer music, which towards the end got us dancing with the children! 

Early last week we swapped our teaching programme from Kurata school to volunteer at the local orphanage down our road. This was because the children at the orphanage needed volunteers so much more than Kurata! Since then we have all got to know the names of the children (despite the fact most have complicated Khmer names!). The children at the orphanage speak extremely good English compared to the children at the school, and as they are really cheeky we can joke around with them and communicate properly which makes it really easy to get on with them!

Lee (pictured above) is always smiling and joking around. Another reason why I love the orphanage is there is a litter of puppies which must be only a few months old. They are all the cutest puppies I’ve ever seen!

Last Saturday we went to the famous Angkor Wat. The weather was amazing, we had clear blue skies and despite the heat we all loved it. 

A few of us got blessed by a monk for good fortune in the future. It was a long day, we left at 8am and we stayed until 7pm for sunset, but, the view of the sun setting from the top of a temple was definitely worth it! 

A few days later we got blessed by a monk again! This time we went to the monastery where Toe used to be a monk, and rather than a little bit of water splashed on our face we were entirely soaked by the end. 

Next week we should start our volunteering at Elma school as we will have finished the toilet project! 

(The temples at sunset)

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