Day 9: Back from the Weekend

Yes we know.  Day 6, 7, 8 are missing. We would have loved to share the weekend stories, but there was no energy left at the end of each day to sit down and do some reflective thinking.

It was not a weekend break for us, neither for the nannies to be fair, nor anyone within the management.  We literally deserted the Residential Centre.  We really wished everyone would join for this trip and we did manage that at least.  Bear with us that these people cannot afford a holiday trip anywhere within their country let alone to travel outside of Cambodia.  They can’t afford spending on a decent guesthouse, let alone a hotel with swimming pool.  These are luxuries which are donated to them by NGOs.  It was the first time we’ve managed  to finance such a dream.  Since we managed to meet all basic necessities last year; food, medicine, vaccination, salaries, education, daily milk etc. we could afford to lift their spirits up also mentally.

They loved it.  Every single detail was carefully prepared in advance by the staff.  The room allocations, the food menu, the excursions, the timings – just name it.  Probably there was one thing which they didn’t plan.  They did not realize that the kids’ euphoria would last 3 whole days.

Every second of the day starting at 6am and ending at 10pm we had kids calling our names all the time. ‘Deni look at me’, ‘Silvan catch me’, ‘Luan swim with me’. Each second we were like ‘Uuuu wow’, ‘Oooo well done’, ‘Bravo bravo!’  Everyone wanted attention, anyone not knowing how to swim wanted to learn, anyone who knew how, acted as they didn’t.  A few actually managed to learn how to swim supervised, others leared to float.  Every second was an achievement and we were there to encourage it. It was not easy but it was worth every single second.

We were back late Sunday evening and as soon as we stepped into the residential centre the ‘security’ opened rooms, watered the small vegetable gardening area, sweeped the fallen leaves.  The nannies started bathing the smaller kids, the elder children unloaded the bus, the cook started dinner…we witnessed a real family effort and we were proud to be part of that family.

This morning upon arriving we saw a nanny washing the kids’ clothes with neverending piles of clothes behind her.  It would have been unfair to let her continue alone, so we helped.   We learned she started at 7am.  It was 9am and she was no where near close to finishing.  The children who had afternoon school were still too tired  for a classroom lesson.  They all refused any form of academic teaching.  To make matters worse, there’s a heatwave in Phnom Penh at the moment so that doesn’t help, so helping out with the washing was the most needed option at that time.

We managed some crafts for the godparents who receive a token from their sponsored child through the Children’s Fund Programme.  We also managed some bingo – revising the numbers, and some join-the-dots.  Though it was not much, at least we managed some indirect revision.

As we hope tomorrow they will return to normality, we are currently enjoying a moment of relaxation as we prepare tomorrow’s plan.

Bring it on!