Saturday, May 10, 2008

Friday night party!

The end of a week of work (well Monday was a rest day - as was Thursday morning!) ... teaching 2 lessons of English at CCH per day – One at 10am and the other at 1pm, hanging around with the kids for lunch in between and generally playing. The mid week paints (below) were a success as was the “pin the tail on the elephant” as a way to learn “up, down, left, right” as directions. However, this game just ended up with copious amounts of cheating and as it was Friday afternoon and we were all dusty, filthy and tired so I just let the kids get on with it – not much English being spoken but they were having a good time. The bananas went down a treat as did the other different kinds of fruit I tend to bring as treats as a break from the “candy”. ..

This is lunch time...
"Elephants eat bananas" ... and so do hungry children!

These two boys are always up for a stupid photo.....
Anyway, the main event on Friday was the night time entertainment provided by the children. Apparently every Friday they get out their instruments and sing/dance. I was due there at 5 and had arranged to travel at the last minute out to the suburbs with Brain (my TEFL teacher) and his friend Clare. On the way the thunder, lightning and rain was very dramatic and we dived into Lucky supermarket to get supplies for the children – sweets. When we arrived we were an hour late due to terrible rush hour traffic – my lungs felt like I had smoked 40 a day for every day of my life from the pollution during this journey. Rush hour is complete chaos here and when it rains it is far worse plus I had broken my mask, motorbikes on the pavements, not a single spot of tarmac to be seen (if you are lucky enough to be on a road with tarmac that is)....
Rush hour - drive on the pavement - why not?
Anyway, at 6ish the children were just finishing their burgers (like McDonalds but the Cambo equivalent) which were a special treat from an Italian woman who had just finished spending 3 weeks with the children. I tried to give my sweets to the kitchen so the children could have them in moderate amounts but the person who I gave it to just opened the bags and all of a sudden I had about 70 children screaming teacher “Me moy moy” (me one one). I had them all line up (very English) in a queue and gave out one of each kind to each child (it felt a bit Oliver Twist). The children are exceptionally polite and thankful . They do a traditional thank you by placing their hands together (as if praying) and putting them up to their face and bowing. At the end of giving out 2 to each child there was quite a few left and so I just started giving them to any child who was cheeky enough to ask for more.... soon the rumour spread that this was the case and I then got another queue going. It was a stark contrast to any child in the UK who would complain about having only 3 sweets - but these children were on cloud nine now they had cola, burger and now sweets that were undoubtedly full of E numbers.... then the dancing began. Or rather the music started and I was mobbed for photos. As it was dark, I think the attraction was mainly because the flash on my camera like a strobe as the lens focuses before the picture is taken. To say they were hyper would be an understatement. To think that for a few of these children they had been outside of the dump for only a few weeks and already they were behaving like children again – thankfully not having to shift rubbish for 50 cents a day inhaling toxic methane and standing on goodness knows what (waste/needles etc) with no shoes on. Given that in Phnom Penh’s nightspots you are more likely to get shot than anything else I am sure that I will be heading back to the orphanage on Friday nights for more partying. The children put on their own entertainment, singing, dancing ...causing havoc! And it is great!!

Hyper party kids............. (I look frazzled to say the least!!) .. Pictures are blury because it was dark sorry!

The band
...rounding off the evening with some walking on hands

No comments: