‘While we are driving to the village, we can talk more about the details. First of all, the police at the village wants to see you.’ ‘Huh?’ ‘Don’t worry. They just want to see you. They may ask you a few questions but just tell them the truth – you are here to help the poor students with their English. We have received quite a lot of volunteers here so it’s not a problem.’
After we entered into the village, the hosts took me to the market to buy some basic stuff and then to the police station. The police looked at me without much interest and then said something in Khmer (i.e. Cambodian language) to my hosts. I told them my visa and passport copies had been given to the police. Then the police looked at me again without much interest again and said OK. It was a really fast process.
I then spent the whole afternoon cleaning the house. They don’t receive guests very often so the house wasn’t that clean when I arrived. I used the 1:99 formula (1 bleach : 99 water) which is used by hospitals to clean the place. The local people were quite shocked. At first, they thought I wanted to wash my clothes using bleach. They never could have imagined bleach could actually act as disinfectant.
Working in the heat like this without air conditioning was not fun but it was satisfying after seeing how clean it was. It’s in fact quite a comfortable place. But wait, after 1:99, how come my room still had pungent smell? I checked almost everywhere and then my eyes stopped at a corner of my room – there was this gap between the wooden wardrobe and the wooden wall (it’s a wooden house). When I saw it, I had goose bumps! It was a few inches high of poops! I didn’t know whether the pile was from the numerous lizards in the house or something else. I screamed of course (like any other city ladies) and the host came to the rescue. She looked around and said, ‘they are from the pigeons living on the roof. Their droppings dropped into your room through the gaps between the wood planks.’ My eyes popped out. She said, ‘don’t worry, I will help you clean that. I need to move this wardrobe first.’ My eyes rolled up and I nearly fainted, ‘when you move the wardrobe, there will be numerous insects coming out from behind the wardrobe.’ She said calmly, ‘don’t worry. You can stay outside of this room if you can’t stand this unsightly scene.’
I dashed out.
It was very very kind and sweet of her. After that, I continued to clean the place and got ready for the lesson. It was my first day in the village to deliver my first lesson. As I mentioned previously, my plan is to start from International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) which is something that the local people really need. (refer to my first blog and you will know what their accent is like).
The kids were having so much fun during the class.
The host said to me at breakfast the next morning, ‘wow, I heard the students laugh a lot during your class. It’s good. When they have fun, they will be more motivated to learn.’ Yup, that’s my objective.
I hope they will sound like native English speakers after they finish all of my lessons. Even if they can’t, I hope, at least, they will be able to understand native English speakers.
P.S. About the feature photo of this blog: they are called iridescent clouds according to https://earthsky.org. The French volunteers said, ‘Look! Look at the clouds! Amazing!’ We were at a sky bar in Kampong Cham, Cambodia, for the happy hour. Yes, we do have time to relax. Lol
P.S. Want to improve your English? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Part of our net profits will be used to sponsor the kids from poor families.
P.S. If you’d like to find out my travel footprints (so far), check out my blog here. 🙂