This week and Kampot

This tropical heat is energy sapping and it’s like being in a battle that you are never going to win but of course I do with push on through tactics!
I have changed my routine slightly, I now play my pipes before 7.15 as the locals are up and making their way to the paddy fields. I have found the secret to making friends with the dogs! They follow and sit watching me, one of the puppies howls and now the others have joined in so we are a combination of me piping, the dogs howling, the cow mooing (I have only heard one) and the cocks crowing! If I said that we sound tuneful would you all think that I have lost the plot?
Otherwise a steady week, I think I am more accepting of the living conditions here but of course still striving to improve them discreetly and overtly when few are doing chores. There are a lot of volunteers here this week which makes it difficult to manage in terms of housekeeping but somehow it all works and there are many leaving in the next week. Most are young backpackers just stopping on their way through wanting to give something on the way.
I am in the minority, in fact I know that I am the oldest volunteer in town, past or future but whenever has that stopped me!
The Gryffindor’s are wonderful and I look forward to each lesson with them.
Janet left this week and as the new volunteers arrived I was watching to see if there was anyone who fitted my criteria to take her place and so I grabbed Anna with both arms and I had asked Martin if she could work with me before she knew it! So we are a complete team, teacher Irene and teacher Anna, she is a primary school teacher, here for six weeks to gain experience before going to work in Dubai. She was impressed with The Gryffindor’s and the relationship that I have with them so it will be brilliant to have this amount of continuity until December.
Our lessons have been interactive and fun. She has brought new ideas to the table and we are bouncing off each other. Attendance has been slightly down but the pupils that come are eager to learn and slowly gaining in confidence with regards to speaking English, in fact one of the boys has asked me if I will start teaching him French! I’m always positive and praise their achievements. On the back of that when no one had done their homework I gave them double and that seemed to do the trick!
So here we are at the weekend…I found Greenhouse on trip advisor and booked online. Luckily everyone was going in this direction so I was able to take the minibus with them although none of us had a clue who was being dropped off first. I had given the driver my address on leaving Hope. Heading out of Kampot, about five kilometres, the driver spotted the Greenhouse sign at which point I was ready to jump out as I didn’t want to delay the bus but he insisted with his body language although he had never been here, that he would drive so we started down this track that was unbelievably narrow and had huge potholes. At this point I was wishing that I had been last! It was never ending, almost a kilometre and we were all laughing so much, several ideas were forthcoming as to where we were going…a country house or perhaps straight into the river! I assured them that there was no mention of the access difficulties on trip advisor. Finally coming to a gate and a point beyond that where there was barely enough room to do a three point turn.
I was very grateful as I am not sure if I would have walked that far into the unknown in the dark…or would I?

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One thought on “This week and Kampot

  1. Janet Appleyard

    Hi Irene, found your blog! Looks like you’re settling down into things now and getting used to everything. it’s such a big shock to the system, the weather, the conditions, jet lag etc but sounds like you’re having fun. With hindsight, wish I could have stayed for longer, I felt. I was just getting to grips with things when It was time for me to leave. keep in touch.

    Janet xx

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