Start of medical project

Trip Start Feb 27, 2012
Trip End Aug 26, 2012

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Where I stayed
one2one acconodation Phnom Penh, and NFO accomodation Takeo

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Monday, March 5, 2012


So quite a lot has happened since my last entry, seeing as that was only the day after i arrived..
It took a while to sort out the medical project as there were complications with doing work at the hospitals, so I spent 5 days in Takeo province.

On the first couple of days we went to help out in the local orphanage which NFO the group i was staying with funded. Whilst there I did some teaching with the kids, generally playing football and chatting to them (to help improve their English, and my Khmai) and also on Saturday some of us went to re-paint the kid's dining area. This involved stripping back the walls of paint with like knives and hammers and anything else we could find,which took absolutely aaages. Then paint it all, was hard work, especially in the heat but means the kids actually have a nice, clean area in which to eat.
I also went to the market which was quite an experience, lots of pretty horrible stuff in the meat section, heads, big baskets of different bugs and also people just killing ducks and chickens etc on the street, de-feathering them etc.
We went to the orphanage every daybut also once I got to go to one of the three schools that the volunteers help to teach at, Little Po. It was about a 50minute cycle ride away so by the time we got there we were dripping with sweat and knackered, but that doesnt stop the kids from instantly running up to you and hugging you and holding your hands, just really happy to see us, chich was really nice. In the school there are about 250kids and only 1 permanent teacher! He's amazing, so friendly and welcoming and all the kids respect him and will listen to every word he says, couldn't imagine one teacher having m,uch control over 250 kids from the ages of 4 to about 13 back in england! Anyway the volunteers got put into pairs and were given a class each so me and a an Aussie girl called Zhourelle were given about 65 of the young ones who had only just started learning english and had a 2 hour lesson to do with them, somehow most of this time was taken up just teaching them the alphabet. They were great tho and if you start to lose their focus you just shout "Hands on heads! Hands in the air! Clap Once"etc and you had their complete attention for another 10 mins. Eventually we had to leave  and a;; the kids would come up to you and give you drawings and things they've made for you and request like a hundred photos then we said goodbye and headed back to the centre.
Then before I knew it, it was sunday and i was to be leaving to go and start my medical project in Phnom Penh. I arrived to meet them at a hotel and they then took me to their accommodation which is really nice, and i met everyone who works there,all of whom are also really nice. Including James, the nephew of the woman who is ruunning it, who is really nice,and good to have some one else of a similar age who can actually speak english.

We then went to S-21 (the school that the Khmer Rouge took over as one of their torture prisons in Phnom Penh during Pol Pot's reign). It was really a horrible place, you could go into rooms where prisoners were kept and killed and there'd be a bed or something in the middle of the room which they were shackled to, then there were pictures on the wall of that room whilst it was in use. A really sad place,but somewhere that i think is very important for people to go to understand the history of the country.
Anyway, on a lighter note we then went from that to go on a fiver cruise thing on the Mekong, where we ate, danced and did some karaoke, great time. From there we then went to the night market where everything is proper cheap so i got a couple t-shirts for a couple of dollars!

Om currently not doing the medical stuff itself as I've been bitten by something, a spider i think, but not sure, and my foot has gone like massive and read and cant really walk on it :( but luckily I'm staying with a load of doctors so they've sorted me out with a load of drugs etc :)   

Anyway hope its not too bad back in england, will not to leave so long between entries in the future,

Josh x 

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