Today started off as per usual with a 6:45am wakeup and delicious breakfast of pastries and pancakes from Brother Francis. As today was a public holiday here in Cambodia (International Human Rights Day), we had the day off from teaching, however we were put to work around the school cleaning up litter, moving furniture and other small jobs. I spent my morning replacing the tiling of the floor in some of the teachers’ bedrooms and kitchens. I was working with a man named Phan, who is a father of some of the children from the school. Despite speaking absolutely no English, he was able to teach me how to tile and concrete through his hand and body gestures. This is just one example of how we have been able to communicate with the children of the school and build such strong relationships with them, without needing to physically speak to one another.
We then travelled to the border of Thailand. As it is illegal to gamble in Thailand, they have built giant casinos right next to the border in Cambodia, this way the Thais can simply walk less then 100 metres across the border to play the slots and gamble all they like. These gigantic casinos in Pailin greatly contrasted the tiny houses or shacks that these poor, suffering people of Pailin call home.
Something that has also stood out for me across the whole trip, is how generous the people of Pailin are. Whenever the children have been given any food, they are quick to offer their siblings or friends half of it. The reason this has really gotten through to me is because although these people have so little, they are always more then willing to share with each other.