We have all now been in Cambodia for just over a week and we have all just finished our first full week of work. Its taken a while to become accustomed to the heat, with most of us taking multiple showers a day, and the long 8 hour work days have taken a while for everyone to get used to. Towards the end of the week though we all seemed to be used to it and had so much more energy! Pub street has become like our second home (yolo bar in particular). Most evenings we will get a 2$ tuk-tuk ride to Pub Street to make the most of the 50 cent beers and look around the markets. We have an ongoing joke about who will buy the most from the market over the 10 weeks and at the moment Poppy and Orlando are in close competition for first place. Actually, Orlando mentioned on the first day how he is planning to send a crate of clothes that he buys back to England as he won’t have enough space in his rucksack!
On our first day we were shown around by Toe, our team leader-he gave us a tour of Siem Reap and made sure to let us know that the Cambodian king is single. Friday evening, as it was only our second day together, we all thought it would be a good idea to go out on Pub Street to all get to know each other better. We all had such a fun night and spoke about last night’s antics over breakfast. On Saturday we went on a cycle ride around Siem Reap in the scorching sun, both Aidan and Lucinda forgot to suncream their arms so they both got quite burnt. Lucinda still had circular plasters on her arms from her vaccinations and now as a result, now has to live with two white circles on each arm!
Our first day of work started on Monday. We began by building a water pump for a small village who had no access to clean water. Previously they could only obtain water by collecting it from ponds and then boiling it. We finished this after 3 days and then began work on a toilet for a lovely family who is looked after by Grandma Pat. Building this toilet is going to take us 20 days.
By the end of the week we had dug a hole as deep as us despite being a man down one day as Aidan had a bad migraine!
In the afternoons we went to help out at Kurata school. Thursday is known as labour day in Cambodia and for an hour or so in the afternoon all the kids help out with gardening etc. around the school. We all helped out too and it ended up turning into a massive game with us racing the kids back from the flower beds to get more soil, singing songs with them, and endless hours of entertainment with the snapchat filters!
Friday night was Rose’s 19th so we had cake and went to the circus- which everyone thought was amazing!! In the evening we went to pub street to celebrate. Overall this week has been tiring but really really fun. Everyone is becoming good friends and we have all settled down into the routine of work.
Choum reap lear!