SUKSABAI!! HELLO!!!! It’s Buttercup here! We’re finally back from Widow’s Island after spending 5 nights with the bugs and frogs in the wilderness. Just kidding.
Here’s a glimpse of the work that we have done for the past 5 days!!!!
We have completed…
We painted the interior and exterior of two rooms. We killed spiders and other creepy crawlies and metabolised all our fats under the hot sun. We stained our clothes with white and orange splatters but it was all worth it! The final product is BEAAAUTIFUL!!!!
BUILDING A HOME
We donated 800 USD to build a hut for a soon-t0-be married couple. Although we were supposed to build a hut, they did most of the work and even taught us how to build it patiently. They would probably have completed it faster without us. Nevertheless, it was an enriching experience for us and we could finally appreciate the presence of construction workers in Singapore.
A few of us suffered minor injuries in the process, but this did not stop us from giving our all until we completed our task.
Some of us even found a passion in shaving bamboo – Raimie and Cynthia had a bamboo-shaving battle.. Which helped to speed up the process. 😀
BUILDING A SHELF
We were told that the villagers needed a shelf for the kitchen to place their utensils and other cooking tools, and so we built one for them! It was a new experience as we had to build it from scratch, from sawing the planks from the piece of plywood to assembling them together with an electric drill. The sawing was very tiring but witnessing the completion of the end product was extremely satisfying.
“It was fun.” – Tze Chong
Unexpectedly, the most difficult part was carrying the cement. But luckily Tze Chong was strong enough to handle everything. Just kidding.
We had to mix bags of sand and cement together and eventually create a volcano-like structure. SO COOL!!! We were even asked to walk barefooted in cement. SO COOL!!! It felt warm.
COOKING FOR THE CHILDREN
Blossom woke up at 5am to cook a meal for 65 children on the island. Look at the corn and french toast in the picture, don’t they look good?! Are you salivating yet???
Before the meal, the children said their prayers and a thank you song to thank us. From their faces we could sense their happiness and it brought us a strong sense of satisfaction.
English lessons were always the highlight of the day for the Buttercup teachers. We hope that what we taught them will go a long way for them. They were very responsive and participated actively during lessons. It definitely put a smile on our faces.
We planted 10 mango trees and put up signboards next to the trees so that they will remember us.
SOWING CORN SEEDS
THE SEEDS WERE PINK!!! OMG!!! They were pink because they were treated with insecticide. They dyed our fingers pink. FREE MANICURE!!! Some of the Cambodian children also came to help us voluntarily and they even climbed trees to pluck fruits for us. 🙂 How thoughtful of them!
We weeded a place near the volleyball court for a future team to embark on potential projects like building a hut. It was the only project which the entire team worked together on.
“Do things you don’t like with a little bit of anger.”- Lim Jia Jin, 18
Please infer from that quote about our experience in weeding.
Wangrui screamed and shouted,”NOOOOO” and fell onto the ground when he found out he was tasked with washing the kids’ hair with anti-lice shampoo. However at the end of it…
“I don’t know lah. It was enriching lor!” – Wang Rui, 18
A group of us went around the island to interview some of the widows about their life stories. This is for our future fund raising project where we will sell their handmade accessories. We learned of many heart-warming stories and learned how to empathise. To our disbelief, the average income for each family is 1 USD or less per day. We also met Samud’s (our translator) family – his wife is 20 (That’s Qiqi’s age!) and they already have a cute baby!
It was the first time we had so much interaction with the kids. We wanted to make a story out of their drawings but realised that none of us could interpret their random doodles. But they are really cute!!! The situation was messier than expected, however many bonds were forged amidst the chaos.
Coincidentally, Raimie’s birthday fell on one of the days we spent on the island. It was an exciting day for the birthday boy.
While we were taking photos…
SOMETHING FUNNY HAPPENED…
Guess where Raimie ended up? IN THE RIVER. HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHA. Not only that, his pants also split while playing zero point with the kids.
And that was how we spent our days on Widows’ Island. We headed for the Kolap 4 orphanage located in the city of Phnom Penh and had our lunch on the bus.
Immediately after we reached the Kolap 4 orphanage, we started the day camp with the fishing game! The kids enjoyed the game of fishing cans using rods made by branches, string and bent nails! Some of them played the modified version of scissors paper stone and had fun.
Team Singapore took on Team Cambodia in a game of soccer and Singapore scored 7 – 4 in the first half of the game, with Raimie the captain leading us for the half time lead. However, things took a turn during the second half. Wang Rui the striker was injured by the ground and was sent out of the field. The second half started with a goal from Team Singapore’s foreign talent (a boy from Kolap 4) and then a goal from Tze Chong the midfielder (he was just lucky). The second half ended with the score of 12 – 5, with Team Cambodia in the lead. The game ended with the score 16 – 12 in Team Cambodia’s favour. (they were just lucky. Just kidding) Although we lost the game, we made many new friends and found out that sports and games can transcend all boundaries!
Hello everyone, this is Bubbles!
Today is our second day at Kolap 4. It was another tiring day under the hot sun and many of us got sunburnt ): But the good thing is we finished our tasks a lot faster than expected! (Only because the people at the orphanage helped out ^^)
Here are what we did today:
We installed a different kind of shelves from the one in Widow’s Island this time. It was a 2-in-1 shelf cum table thing that we attached to their bed frame. We planned to make 46 of it at first but we ended up making 66 of them! 🙂
Repairing the basketball court
The backboard of their basketball court needed to be repaired. We also helped to mark out the parameters of the court so that they can have proper games in the future.
And in between all the hard work, let’s not forget to have a little bit of fun.
We were supposed to help them make a table on top of the shelves, but the guys from the orphanage ended up doing most of the work with much greater efficiency than we would have done (oops.) It was also very enriching because we learnt many interesting techniques of sawing and nailing that we never knew before.
Because we worked very hard the past few days, we were treated to an international buffet at Tonle Bassac Restaurant. It was nice to finally not have to ask around for extra servings of packet food :))))
We also celebrated Raimie’s birthday! (again.) We intentionally piled lots of fruits onto his plate to make sure he has a healthy diet.
Bubbles, signing off.
Today is Day 8!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We started the day with a visit to Hello American school, introduced Singapore to a bunch of kids and sat in for their class. They were really enthusiastic about learning the language and the younger ones sang along to songs. The trip lasted about 20 minutes and we headed back to Kolap 4.
Back at Kolap 4, we continued with our shelves and basketball court projects. We were given the tasks of sawing another 18 shelves for the girl’s room. Everyone was very careful with the measurements this time round as we knew how important precise measurements were in the building of the shelves. We also realised that the productivity level increased even with the lack of manpower because everyone knew what they were doing. Livia also learnt how to saw properly (YAYYYYYYYY)
We completed the basketball court and started a match immediately. The Cambodian kids were (still) better than us at basketball, showing their moves and owning us at bball.
After lunch came Blossom’s biggest challenge: cooking for 165 people. We were all thrown into Hell’s Kitchen and had to complete all our dishes before the campfire started at 5.30pm. At first, we were lost and unsure because we could not communicate with the kitchen staff to obtain the tools required for cooking. Then came our savior, a young, smart Cambodian guy who managed to translate our needs and began our fight for glory!!!!!!!!!!!! We chopped, fried, boiled, and realised that we didn’t have enough garlic. We hit a roadblock. Then came another Cambodian guy to save our day. He went out to buy 40 cloves of garlic for us and saved the day!!! Bao xiang, the kitchen started to smell good and we started to smell like the kitchen. We organised a long bean competition. Alicia came in first, Raimie came in second, Veron was in third place and Chin Hong the grandpa happily took the last position. “Mei You Oil Liao” said Xin Yi. That was when all hell broke loose (HELL’S KITCHEN FOR REAL LIAO). The worst thing was ,the Cambodian people couldn’t come to our rescue. Finally, John emptied his pockets and tasked Mango (one of the boys at the orphanage) to get the bottle of oil for us. All sweaty and proud of his achievement, Mango handed the bottle to us and we started spamming it into the food.
- Raimie being Raimie
YAY WE FINISHED OUR COOKING~~~
After blood, sweat and tears, we exited the kitchen with pots of sausages, egg, long beans, rice, and the AMAZING red bean soup with 3 packets of sugar.
Cambodian kids are dancing queens and kings! Our eyes feasted on their dance moves while our mouths savoured the food that we had prepared earlier.
- Delicious food!
- Dancing to Oppa Gangnam Style!
- Group photo!!! Courtesy of Cynthia
It’s time to say goodbye
I want to bathe
With much love and smells,