Wow. It’s been more than a week and it feels like it was just yesterday that we arrived in Pnhom Penh, Cambodia.
Fourth day of English Camp. As usual, we started our day with our morning routine - wake up and rumble around to get ready by 7:30 am (9 people, 2 washrooms – you can only imagine). Then we walked to church and ate breakfast together. We ate as much as we could because we all knew that today was going to be a long day out in the blazing hot sun. What we had in store for today was an adventure to the country side and visit the zoo of Cambodia.
At the zoo, we separated into our groups. As always, David makes everything more interesting and fun. Yesterday at the Russian Market, we got to do a scavenger hunt. Today, we had to take as many as we can a group selfie with different types of animals. BUT… just before they sent us off around the zoo, they warned about the sneaky monkeys – “to ensure that all our bags and belongings are secured around our bodies because the monkeys that are freely roaming around the zoo can and will snatch them from you.”
We saw different types of animals from lions, tigers, leopards, monkeys, and my favourite elephants. After a long day at the zoo, my team (Yellow Team) with Mandy manages to take 25 group selfie with 25 different animals.
Some interesting observations:
- on our way to the zoo, there are local people waiting by the road to beg for money to the cars that passes by. I guess, they are well aware that a lot of tourist visits the zoo
- we had to pay 500 riels (equivalent to $ 0.12) to use the washroom in the zoo
- traffic jam on the road was caused by cows
Around 4 o’clock, the bus headed back to the city. I believe this was the quietest ride back from a field trip. Everyone was so exhausted from walking around the zoo and with the combination of heat and humid.
When we returned to the church, we thought we would go on with our routine after English Camp – say our goodbyes, we head upstairs to eat dinner, walk back to David’s house, debrief, and call it a night. However, tonight was a little different.
Some of the students wanted to hang out with us and show us around. It was a very interesting experience and it was a great way to get to know some of the students in a different context aside from English Camp. We decided to go to Aeon Mall and watch the movie “Minion” (Interesting fact: A movie ticket is $ 3.00!!). Then, they showed us around the mall. On the very top of Aeon Mall was an ice rink. Yes, ice skating exist in Cambodia! However, it’s a very expensive activity - $10. We (teachers) rode on a tuc-tuc (a tricycle) and the students rode on their motos (moped or motorcycle). To ensure that we would get to our destinations, our students divided themselves, surronded our tuc-tucs and followed us to the mall and back to David’s house with their motos. It was very sweet of them to place our safety first.
After today, my heart is so torn because I was just getting to know these amazing people and tomorrow is our last day at English Camp. It’s simply not enough time and it sucks.
As we go on with our mission, we ask for continuous prayer:
- over the safety of our team
- to open our hearts that we may hear God to how He is moving us
- that we may be able to plant a seed of hope and light in the students heart about God, and that one day it will grow into something beautiful
- Lovelle Castro