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