Journals in Cambodia---Volunteer Touring
- 出行天数/8 天
2016.02.05 (Say good bye to FREEZING Beijing)
This was the first time ever that I have been to Cambodia. We said bye-bye to the FREEZING Beijing for a moment then came to the warm and mild south-eastern country: Cambodia. Actually my real purpose here was to be a volunteer teacher of teaching English for one week here and enrich the childrens’ school life here. But the wonderful living standard will always let me forget what is my real purpose here, teaching, or touring.
The hotel we lived in Siem-Reap was quite well and quite peaceful. There was nothing much that can be enjoyed except the Quiet and peaceful, but that was all enough: Sunshine in the afternoon emitted a warm orange color, The fizzy sound of the watering can slowed everything down, the sound that children playing in the swimming pool in the afternoon made this afternoon much more mild and lethargic... ...
During that night, I bumped into one of my old friend in the old night market but he was getting ready to get back to China to his hometown to celebrate the Spring Festival. We had fun at a small restaurant in the night market but he had to go. The good time always vanished so quick like the tiny soap bubbles.
My first day was gone also like the tiny soap bubbles, a lethargic, warm and mild day.
2016.02.06 (Ankor Wat)
This morning was really sleepy, cause I need to get up early and get to Ankor Wat. I opened my sleepy eyes, opened the curtains, but the thing that welcomed and said hello to me was the refreshing, bright and beautiful sunlight in the early morning.
I had breakfast and then booked a “Tuk-tuk” to Ankor Wat. The wind in the early morning was cool, soft and gentle. It took a relatively long period to get to the castle, the small Ankor. As the small Ankor, the symbol of Ankor Wat appeared infront of me, the feeling that I had couldn’t be described as language. But what could I say except beautiful and wonderful? It was a living monument. It contains the builder’s devout and kept it until 1000 year passed. I could even imagined before 1000 years, how splendidly it was. Before it was devoured by the jungle, how majestic it was. It was a living debris
2016.02.07 (New Guy Here)
After the tourising in Ankor Wat, Iʻve nearly lost myself, nearly forgot that I was here for teaching not for tourising. We went to the “Smiley Guest House”. At this place, I met three of the other volunteers there. They are all from Denmark.
The most unforgettable one was David. The tall, strong and warm hearted Denmark boy. He was talkative. During the talk with him, I knew that he had teaching experience, and he always enjoy spend his time with young kids.
His talk and his jokes made the 3 hour driving to the new destination Sam-Roum more interesting, more colorful rather than the repeating scenes and the bloody Khmer music. I even carried the suitcase on my leg because there were no space in the trunk...
Tiring trip to Sam-Roum, really tiring. When we got off the car and walked into the living place here, it was nearly the time for Dinner. The living place here was ok: with a medium sized yard, several hammocks and six dorm rooms. The wind blows incessantly always made the people more willing to stay in the yard rather than the shaded dorm room.
We then met the other volunteers there but I felt so nervous when so many stranger or too many people I donʻt know quite well around me. I thought that time for me was really alittle bit harsh. Simultaeneously, I understood that “If I am among a group of stranger or the people I donʻt know quite well, speak to them and get close to them at the very beginning and decide who will be my friend who wonʻt, or I ʻll never have a chance or never have the gut to talk to them again. Even if I try to get close to them, Iʻll always felt embarrasing.”
But all in all, this was a quite happy day because of the new environment and warm hearted David. OK, it was time to prepare what would I do tomorrow and then get a good sleep.
2016.02.08 [A ... Teacher (A)](Morning class)
Last night was very cold that I even didnʻt prepare for that, I even didnʻt know the gap between the temperature in the morning and the temperature at night. I got a cold then.
But so what, I was here for teaching, and I couldnʻt just fall down like that, to avoid the duty that I was assigned for. After the breakfast, we drove to the destination “Greenway school”.
That was the first day here, the school was entirely out door, in a small, tropical khmer village. Frankly, the environment in the school was not so good at all but the kids here do really enjoy their study life and they do really having fun with the other kids here.
But in that school, we had a choice of which program would we engaged in. Because the volunteers can change to another program after one week. The Greenway school offered two kinds of project: Constructing the campus and the volunteer teacher program.
Of course I choose the volunteer teacher program because of no reason, except just want to teach, just want to have a closer distance with the co-workers, the other volunteers.
The class began at 8:20. I was assigned to teach grade 4 students, and my partner was a Dannish girl called Louise. Louise has already taught those kids here for about 2 weeks. She told me that she just finished her IB program and she had already took part in several other activities that was similar with this time, be a volunteer teacher, and she really desired to see the progress of the kids.
But I really donʻt have any teaching experience.
The class began with the review of the last class theyʻve learned about. About the subjects: “Which subject do you like the best, why?” The kids gave all their answers on the whiteboard. So far the answers were good after checking.
Then we were moving into another section “Seasons”. Because of living in this blocking and conservative village, the kids even didnʻt know what Spring and Fall is. Louise was so patient, she drew the pictures and showed some photos of the four seasons for the kids and intended to keep the teaching speed and progress very slow so that the kids would understand well. We listed a bunch of key words and let the kids to write them down. After we do that, we let the kids mathcing those key words as exercise and that was the first class. For the second class, we used the same sentence structure “Which____do you like the best? Why?” But this time was for seasons. We got several wierd answers like “I like winter best, because it is freezing.” “I like summer best, because it is hot.” But the point is those kids knew how to arrange their language and how to use the vocabulary, that could be the most happiest thing.
At the end of the last class, the kids played a game with the words theyʻve written down that was related with seasons, actually they were having a race between boys and girls. When the kids were winning or ahead of the another team, I could really see that they enjoyed that, they were feeling that they were winning for themselves.
After the morning class, I took several note that I learned from Louise:1. Being contagious
2. Be well planned
3. Feel free to talk to the kids.
4. Donʻt waste time on the stuff that the kids already know.
5. Using pictures and lively examples instead of words to illustrate
This was the second day of teaching for me. We are now moving into another section “Comparative sentences”. This was really a hard topic to teach, because the sentence structures was a stuff mainly like a formula, it was hard to illustrate a sentence structure to the kids in a image way.
So, I gave an example: I think rainy days are better/worse than hot days.
Better: You like rainy days but not hot days.
Worse: You like hot days but not rainy days.
During this class, I cooperate with Louise well, that means I achieved one of my goal, well planned class and the kids know the knowledge point well, that means I achieved that “TOK Circle” Louise showed me. It was a successful day than the first day.
However, nothing is perfect: When you always thought that you are perfect but you are actually not. The same as being teachers. When you teach kids, you are not solving old problems, because new problems will come incessantly. In other words, teaching is always a process of generating new problems because as you teach, you’ll never know what will the kids do next, do what you said, do wrong things, or make a mess or something else. and how to handle.
That’s the new solution for the new problem: Focusing. Well managed class, always doing different things with kids, keep refreshing them.
2016.02.10 [Being sick]
I lost my voice that day, and had a little bit fever. I didn’t go to teach that day and I really missed those bunch of kids. But during that moment I could enjoy the silence of the yard. By the same time I could do some previews for the upcoming class for the next day for the “Antonyms”, “Advanced comparative sentences”.
By the way, thanks for David’s pill, thanks for taking care of me and always be warm heated. Although we are not in the same class, not in the same dorm, but thanks for taking care of me these days.
2016.02.11 [New stuff to learn]
That day was the next day after I was sick. Actually, my throat wasn’t recovered entirely, when I spoke, the feeling was just like vomiting fire.
However, the class that day went on well, we taught the kids “antonyms” and “Advanced superlative sentences”. I designed the exercises in a combination. Like “I like ... Better/worse than... Because ... Is ... than”. The process goes on very well, the point is the kids knows the knowledge point very well.
Due to the next day the kids were going to have a test, so we finish all the stuff and mainly playing games with the old knowledge points that the kids have learnt.
2016.02.12 [Say good bye to MILD Cambodia]
This was the last day here, we did a test on those kids. The tests was composed of “Dictation”, “Antonyms match(Based on the vocab with seasons)”, “Fill in the blanks with ‘Equal’, ‘Comparative’ or the ‘Superlative ’”. The kids did it all well. We felt reliefed and satisfied, that our work was not waste.
Then, we celebrated the water sparkling festivals here. All wet, stress, all gone. I even forgot that was my last day here.
I was so reluctant to leave this place. Though it was in a remote Khmer village, it didn’t have a good living standard. But the partners, the kids. That was the thing that I can’t really forget. David and Louise, the most unforgettable people here. You have the rest of days to do other projects but I have to go, to deal with my school work. Take care of yourself, be healthy, be safe.
How amazing progress you've made! Gorgeous! I love what you've written and love the beautiful words you used. Cannot help waiting for your next articles.