Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A School Visit to Remember

Our wonderful guide, Ly Rethy, had suggested we might want to visit a needy rural school to donate some school supplies, and we went to a school supply store at the end of our first day of touring with him.

There we bought notebooks, pens, pencils, erasers, and sharpeners in enough quantity to give to 40 students. We also insisted on buying two cheap volleyballs and a pump.

Yesterday our first stop was the primary school after a 90-minute drive, including a sticky-rice stop.

We discovered the "school" is nothing more than a semi-enclosed shed. There are little or no facilities - they don't even have toilets - but Rethy did point out an actual building under construction a little way away.

The 20 older students sit on one side of the room and the 20 younger ones sit on the other. Their young teacher is a graduate of something like our old "normal schools" after finishing high school, and is required to teach in a rural school for two years before she can move back to her own part of the country.

They don't have any textbooks, and their learning involves a lot of work from the portable chalkboard.

As we handed out supplies, each and every child thanked us with the traditional Cambodian hands-together "Sampeah." They and their families have little, but they were all smiles, polite, and appreciative.

Never have we been so touched by by a $65 expenditure. This is one travel experience we'll remember for a long time.

1 comment:

Dennis Warner said...

That was a terrific gesture on your part and I'm sure that the supplies will be very much appreciated! Good on you!