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Friday, 28 August 2015

Siem Reap, Cambodia Day 2 (Part 1)

Click HERE for Siem Reap, Cambodia (Part 1)

In case you didn't read about Part 1, here's the basic information, so that when you scroll on, the contents makes more sense -

Destination: Siem Reap, Cambodia

Duration: 13 to 16 Aug 2015

Flight:  Jet Star -  2 way rounded up to be S$366  -____-

Accommodation:  Steung Siem Reap Hotel (4 star) - Street 9, Sangkat Svay Dangkum, Siem Reap, Cambodia. Website - www.steungsiemreaphotel.com

Mode of travel: A local coordinator was with us.  We had 2 vans drove to drive us around.  We engaged a guide for AngKor Wat visit.

Time difference: 1 hour behind Singapore

Currency: USD and Cambodian Riel, but USD is used more often.

Weather: around 33°C with occasional rain.

Note:  The main purpose of this trip was to do voluntary work at schools and villages with Inspiring Stars, but we did have a bit of fun and leisure.

14 Aug 2015 - Day 2

We had buffet breakfast in the hotel at 7am *yawns*

My table with a view of the swimming pool.

The buffet was simple with porridge, stir fried mee, pasta, some ham and bacon.

 Here's salad and fruits, cereals, some local kuay kuay and also a bread toaster.

 Every breakfast buffet's must-have, a chef that prepares eggs the way you like it.

Soft omelette with all the ingredients added is my fav in every hotel lolxx..
The swimming pool was beautiful under the morning sun.

Besides the swimming pool was a rest area with gym and bathroom with sauna facility.

Small gym, about the size of a bedroom.

2 shower cubicles and a sauna room.
Actually, if you need sauna, simply just go outdoor, I guarantee you will sweat buckets.  It's so warm in Siem Reap.

After breakfast, we set off at 7.30am *still yawns*
Selfie in the van.  Hubby bought me these UV-protection sleeves, about S$14, very cool material and comfortable.

We stopped over at the stationery and grocery shop to collect our purchases.  Every and any space in our vans were fully utilized lolxx..

On our way, saw this "look like" military vehicle driven by a civilian.
We had lots of question marks but no answer, heehee...

Along the way, the sky was blue, and the paddy fields were green.  It's something so common over there, but we don't have such scenery in Singapore.

A few cows could be seen, they were all skinny.

Need to self-praise for capturing this nice pic of the locals on a moving van.

At one point, the driver had to stop and check the mud path ahead.
Getting the wheels stuck in the mud was something we need to avoid.

Thank god for watching over us, we got through!

Though slightly bumpy, we reached Tasne Primary School without hiccups.

Our vans, filled with love and care, all the way from Singapore!

I walked into a classroom, it was filled with smell of mud, which I gotten use to it very quickly.

Inspiring Stars sponsored 311 students in Tasne Primary School with -
* 1 new set of school uniform for each child
* 1 new pair of slippers (slippers are easier for them to walk through mud paths)
* stationery
* milk and snacks
* chalks and writing papers for the teachers as well

Inspiring Stars Girls helping the school girls with new uniforms.  The other girl was too shy to appear in my blog, so I "love" her, heehee....
Our leader had reminded me numerous times not to post nude photos of children as Cambodia is a very conservative nation.   As much as they need help, they need to be respected also.  So I need to blur/mosaic.  These pics are very heart warming to me, hope you can feel it too.....

This boy was still holding onto his old and soiled uniform, I don't think he will throw it away.
 Each set of uniform is USD6.00.  The average income is about USD2 per day, it's lower for families who depend on farming in rural areas.  How to afford....

Along with distribution of uniforms, other team members including my little nephew helped to distribute slippers.

These were upper primary students, their new uniforms tags still intact lolxx...
We helped them to get the right size or slightly bigger pairs.  It was tough initially, but after a while, we could grabbed the correct size at one glance at their feet!

If I dump any Singapore kid here, I GUARANTEE they will cry.
My sis told me the first year when my niece came,  she wailed like hell.  Refused to step into the classrooms.  The kind students tried to comfort her, but she cried even harder.  The difference is too great, even myself finds it hard, let my small girl.

One of our team member is a local.  He came from Phnom Penh to support us.  He helped Inspiring Stars to convey our message, gave the kids encouragement and told them to study hard, never give up.

No Education = No Job
No Job = No Money
But the sad thing is No Money = No Education
Inspiring Stars hopes to make things a little better, at least the children knows that they are not forgotten and are cared for.  We hope to motivate them to move on.

After every student had gotten their uniforms and slippers we distributed note books, pens/pencils and some food.
The heat and physical work really wear us down.

We could had just save our energy by standing still and let the students in the front row to pass the items down to the back.  We gave the items to them one by one.

In return, they gave us grateful and happy smiles which were powerful enough to melt any stone or metal.  These innocent children melt my heart.....

We gave clothes to the villagers.... they were calm and easy until.....

.....we opened a bag of toys lolxx.... SWARMED!  The villagers especially children got really excited, but they were still quite gentle.
I wanted to run over to help, but the leader told me to stand back, relax and take photos, 袖手旁观waahaahaaa.....

Mission accomplished!

311 numbers of  Tasne Primary School students in new uniforms.
They some how reminded me of the song Edelweiss.  Small and white, clean and bright.... they looked happy to greet me...... please bloom and grow forever....

We moved on the another school.....
We stroll dogs while they are able to stroll a cow.

A random pic on our way, beautiful isn't it?

I believe many tourists will be smitten by the vast of greens with the blue sky.  But the poverty behind this beauty may not be known, or perhaps known but ignored.

This is Ta Kam Primary School, it's much smaller with 120 students.
We did not expect the school to look so..... run down :((  This is only a photo that you see here, but at that time, when we stood in front of this school, looking at it, it was very very distressing.

Our funds in hand is tight, but we can't a blind eye.

We decided to sponsor Ta Kam School paints for both interior and exterior!  YES!

Inspiring Stars sponsored Ta Kam Primary School with 120 students with -
* stationery for students and teachers
* milk and snacks
* paints for interior and exterior walls

In the process of distributing milk and snacks to the students, my little nephew learned to share and give, he will grow up with such kind values in him.

One boy eating a cake and the other holding a new note book we just gave them.

It was a console to us that a bigger organisation had sponsored the school a water pump.

The villagers nearby the school came.  They sat down waiting for us patiently while we distribute biscuits, detergent powders, soap and pre-love clothings etc...

After the 2 schools together with 2 batches of villages, we were dead beat, 累到.....

No tables, no chairs, only huts with hammocks.

The huts are build on streams with fishes in it.

Chilling and exposing my fat double chin and tummy rolls here, no more energy to bother about my looks or whatever image liao.
You probably don't love me, but you will love a hammock, heehee....

We had zhi char in Cambodian style.
Not much words were exchanged, we were all exhausted and hungry, we ate quietly.   I was still thinking of the school children with heartaches, 一阵一阵的心疼.....

Some dishes we had, Kampong Chicken and Lemon Grass Soup.

Here's the grilled fish, very similar to those I ate in Bangkok.

吃饱了!  Thankful for the food.

After lunch, we headed to a hardware shop to purchase wall paints for Ta Kam School.

With help of our co-ordinator Chhay, communication was easy.
My little sis, founder of Inspiring Stars holding the shop's cat.

They need to decide the colors and number of pails to purchase.

After the purchase was made, we drove about 20mins to Ampil Peam Primary School.

Inspiring Stars has been sponsoring Ampil Peam Primary School with uniforms and stationery for a few years.

Inspiring Stars sponsored Ampil Peam Primary School with 277 students with -
* 1 new set of uniform for each child
* stationery for students and teachers
* milk and snacks

The school is doing well with a increase number of students.  Currently, there are number of 277 students.
 Not enough classrooms, so they have one without walls.

My lovely niece at work.
 Young but already an expert in voluntary work.  A lot of times I had to ask her what to do and how to go about.  She will then proudly give me clear instructions ^.^.

As mentioned earlier, sponsoring Ampil Peam Primary has been going on for a few years.  Students recognizes Ada, she seen the children grown over these years.  Some are very affectionate to her.

One of them came hugging her.
I saw that her hug was sincerely full of gratitude and respect for my sis.

Despite of her not so perfect face, she was a very affectionate and warm girl.

This girl, waving to my camera caught my attention.

She has really pretty features, she was looking curiously at me.  Then she slowly walked towards me and..... gave me a hug.  I was shocked.  After a split second, I wrapped her tiny body in my arms.  I knew that it's her way of saying "Thank you".  My eyes welled, I held hard.

She is such a darling, such a sweet girl, I wanted so much to help her and give her more T_____T

I gave the girls badges from Tee-Saurus as souvenirs.
I am missing them already.... They deserve more....

Not forgetting the villagers that came, we gave them groceries, soap as well as some food.

Our humble contribution had helped more than 700 students and hundreds of villagers today!
And we reached out for more the next day!

At around 5pm, we headed back to our hotel weary and smelly lolxx...

I am not a celebrity blogger, the number of people I can reach is limited, so I really need you readers to help. 
 Share this post on Facebook (click Facebook Icon at the end of this post) to your friends, to create more awareness.  "Like" Inspiring Stars  www.facebook.com/inspiringstars  to show some support.  Please help, by just clicking.

If you would like to donate, offer help in any way, sponsor or join Inspiring Stars humanitarian trips to Siem Reap, please PM Ada via www.facebook.com/inspiringstars

Thank you from me and from children in Siem Reap  ^.^