Hey everyone! Today was our last full day at Kolap 4 orphanage and we sure continued to have a ton of fun!
As we arrived early in the morning, we discovered to our shock that there were only 5 orphans milling around. Of course, what were we expecting on a Monday morning! Most of the kids had lessons at the different government schools from 7-11am. Nevertheless, we taught the remaining orphans how to make dream-catchers and they slowly started to stream in to join us.
Around afternoon, we proceeded to the Vietnamese slum near the orphanage, in order to experience what life was like in a slum. This was a slum populated mostly by Vietnamese emigres, although there were still Khmer residents there. Some of the Kolap 4 orphans (namely Bun Rong, Dolla & Sella) originally came from this slum. When their mother was widowed, she struggled to bring up 6 children on her own, so some of them were brought to the orphanage.
The slum was a real eye opener as we witnessed many living in shacks beside the river. This was very filthy and shabby accommodation that just sprouted on the space between the river and the main road. In juxtaposition, we could see luxurious high-rise apartments and a luxurious embassy just across the river.
We distributed simple goody bags to 40 families in the slum, each consisting of 4kg of rice, cooking oil, salt and some soap. Although this seems paltry to us, it actually meant a lot to the residents that we distributed them to. This was evident in their shy smiles and the loud ‘or-kun’ (Thank You) that they muttered as the goody bags left our hands into theirs.
We also visited Bun Rong’s house (The Leng family) to gain an insight into the living conditions inside a dark and dingy slum. It was truly a sight to see a living room, bedroom, kitchen, dining area, laundry area and toilet all squeezed into an area not bigger than 5m by 5m and a second storey window view that looks out to the rooftop of another shanty-house. Truly, how thankful we are for what we enjoy in Singapore.
In the late afternoon we also visited Hello American School, which is a private school that provides for English lessons after school for Cambodians at a fee. Although we failed to sit in one of their lessons to experience the learning of English there, we managed to have a short exchange with 5 of the teachers there. From the exchange, we received a clearer picture of the profile of students studying there and also the challenges of teaching English there.
We ended off the day with a special dinner at a shabu shabu and Japanese sushi buffet place. It was a sumptuous dinner where we truly enjoyed ourselves as a team and rewarded ourselves after many long days of work.
We are glad to be back in Singapore tomorrow, after so many days away from home and our loved ones. Expect us at the airport at around 10.20pm! Cya!