Sadly my third visit to Cambodia and the world of Tuk Tuk for Children has come to an end but the next one is well and truly in the planning stages. Of course the work continues from Australia where the latest plan is to try to enlist support of interested parties in stocking our toy library.
It has been great to renew acquaintances over here again and to get back to working with the kids in the villages around Pursat doing the Tuk Tuk Theatre run. Happily some new games we introduced were a hit and kids doing some of the old favourites such as tunnel ball and cross chase brought back memories of my own childhood. We also used a variation of a relay race involving water which of course was met with squeals of laughter especially when Adrian got involved ensuring all the kids were drenched. The parents looking on also thought it was great with much laughter and encouragement.
This time round I have stayed at the new TT4C centre that has been named Tukquarters. A great location central to markets, the schools we assist in and the eateries. A quiet dead end street with a sports ground over the side fence that has hosted a few events in the 2 months I have been here. The accommodation is great with one fanned and one AC room which I was fortunate enough to use. Western style toilet, shower, huge bed and an outdoor but undercover kitchen area made it all very easy. We also built a wood fired oven using a small upturned concrete water tank and that was the way we made some magnificent feasts to share with the other volunteers and our Khmer neighbours.
A recent grant has seen TT4C preparing to implement a program across 6 pre schools in the area. This involves teacher coaching, building strong environments for learning and the mobile book and toy library. Mayu and Dala have done a great job in presenting the program to the local teachers and principals and the initial training day is planned for early May. With some preschools having 60 children per class it is a big job to ensure that they are well equipped and that the programs caters for their specific needs. TT4C is actively seeking further volunteers to assist and I would certainly
encourage anyone interested to contact Adrian. The rewards are immense and perhaps the best example is to be the recipient of 1000 smiles every day.
Next week sees the Khmer New Year and the excitement is building. We will participate in a variety of ways as the invitations are always forthcoming to the unique big Barang Tuk Tuk driver and his helpers. Again it has been a privilege to be here as one of the group of multicultural volunteers who have the one shared goal which is to try to make a difference to the lives of the children of Cambodia.
written by Rob McCurdy
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