Friday, 9 July 2010

A Fascinating Day In The PGS Village

Today we were all woken up at 3:30, by a very annoying cockrel chorus. We are all completely shattered and weren't really up for another long day teaching, but we got up and it proved to be well worth it.

We had been told that the work we were doing in this village was groundbreaking, it is likely the most remote village in Cambodia; very tribal and very frightened of White people. However, we seemed to break through the barrier. After starting the day with singing and clapping to draw the children in. They seemed to overcome their fear and we had a great morning of doing sport with all ages. Sticking to simple games of shuttle runs and ball passing, their confidence increased massively and soon they were smiling and laughing.

We had a long lunch with some ice coffee brought in from the Nhang village - very very welcomed! After a few games of cards it was back to entertaining the children.

We started with singing more songs to them; including a lot of Jungle Book ones like "I wanna be like you...". Then the translators read some story books. It was while they were doing this that a very dramatic thing happened:
A new house that was being built just over from the community centre had it's first A-frame put up and the village were sacrificing a buffalo to bless the new building. It involved one of the village chiefs killing it with an axe, as it was tied to a post. Then many people came in to strip every possible part of meat from the body. It was fascinating to watch, and the fact that they were carrying out this when we were in the village showed that they had welcomed us and accepted us. It was also dramatic to see how tribal the nature of the culture is and how accepting the children were of it, as they sat in the community building having a story told to them, as we watched the whole thing unfold through the doorway.

After that, we had to change our mindset a bit to act the story of BillyGoat's Gruff, which the children and adults loved and found very amusing.

After that we headed down to the place where the PGS school was being built and were impressed to see that after our little contribution with the groundwork yesterday, they were now rapidly progressing with the frame of the building, which fits together like a massive homemade Lego set.

A quick wash in the stream, and we are now waiting for dinner again. It's been a very rewarding and interesting day, and we've seen a lot of the village culture and how we can be allowed into very remote places like this.

It is a bit like a BBC documentary being in a place like this, but it's so interesting that you cope with the tiredness and still look forward to the next day with eagerness.

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