Hello Everybody! Sorry we were unable to update the blog yesterday as the internet service in our entire hotel was out for a day. But thank God it has been restored today so we are able to update.
Yesterday we managed to complete the erection of the basketball post successfully, without too much difficulty. It was the talk of the town as almost the entire orphanage came out to help, especially the older ones. The elders of the orphanage also came out to give advice and take charge. This was a good sign as it implied they were taking full ownership of the project. Getting the locals to own the projects is critical to the sustainability of our humanitarian efforts.
Today we continued work on the basketball post by putting up boards as the backing of the basketball post frame and also the metal ring. Drilling in the boards was one of the most technically and physically challenging tasks. This was partly due to our inexperience and also partly due to the fact that we were using salvaged materials and had to custom-make the boards. However, with great help from Jemie and also the orphans, we managed to complete the work within 4 hours, in spite of the drill bit breaking twice. Immediately spontaneous games of basketball began.
Tonight ended off with a big bang with the campfire night. We paid for a special feast for almost all 120 of us, with rice-flour ball snacks going around the whole day and a grand cambodian satay feast with chinese dumplings for dinner. Great food, dim lighting, awesome company, songs, dance, crazy photo-taking, random dancing, what more do we need to say.
The orphans regaled us with traditional Cambodian village dances, complete with elaborate outfits. On our side, our chinese dumplings gave them a taste of singapore and we also put up an Indian Bhangra dance to entertain them. Though we were not very well rehearsed for the dance, we all had good fun and they were entertained.
We finished off the night by giving out our donation items and a short speech by Shaohao on behalf of the whole team, to encourage them.
Tomorrow we are going to the Tuol Sleng torture museum, the russian market then finally at Kolap 4 orphanage until evening. After our grand finale team dinner at a french buffet restaurant, we will be on our way home.
See you in Singapore soon!
More photos here.