Katie McCallum is in Cambodia on a Tearfund Transform trip and has been sending us regular updates. Here she tells us what a typical day looks like.
6.30am- Wake up. Already feeling tired. Long and exciting day ahead!
6.45am- Actually get out of bed for a shower. I’ve typically had to shower about three times a day due to the humidity. Team has become very comfortable with each other’s sweatiness.
7.30am- Devotion at Cambodian Hope Organisation’s church room. Will typically sing several songs in Khmer with English translation. This in itself can be quite entertaining. Will also listen to a short preach, given by CHO staff member or someone from the team. Great way to start the day.
8.00am- Off for breakfast! Have eaten like a king all week: pancakes with maple syrup and fruit & muesli to follow. Have consistently over-eaten every single morning, which is ironic in a country where most can’t afford to feed themselves at all.
8.40am- Off to School on the Mat to run the kid’s activity camp. Have 150 kids from all over the province coming together this morning to sing, dance and play games together.
9.00am ’till 11.00am- School on the Mat camp. Got very sweaty dancing the macarena and playing ball games. Location of the camp was some kind of jungly/muddy clearing, lots of chickens running around. Was surprised at how good the kids’ hand-eye coordination was! Kids loved copying the actions to English songs and playing musical statues. Got very, very, very, very sweaty. Someone on the team got bitten by mosquitos 26 times on her legs! That’ll teach you not to wear insect repellent…
11.00am till 12.00pm- Rain storm. SO MUCH RAIN! Watch the streets flood and kids play in the mud. I’ll never get used to the instantaneous switch from searing heat to clammy sogginess.
12.00pm till 12.30pm. Back to CHO for a shower and lunch. Team favourite is cashew chicken. The food is consistently amazing. Lots of laughs and banter when we’re all together.
1.00pm till 5.00pm- Work at the Safe Haven school. Half the team will teach English. Half the team will dig an irrigation system. Today I taught grade 2 about items of clothing, which involved lots of dressing up and hilarity. The kids love anything that will make them laugh; usually me making a fool of myself. It’s really hard to do the teaching without a translator, but the children here have some serious respect for those older than them so we’ve had very few problems with bad behaviour. They also love any opportunity to be creative, so today we’re drawing pictures and playing with modelling clay. Resources at the Safe Haven are very low, all we’ve been given is a whiteboard marker, so we’re using lots of stuff we brought with us from the UK.
5.30pm till 6.30pm- Dinner time! We spend a lot of time eating, which is fantastic. Again a really great time to have the team all together.
6.30pm till 7.30pm- Team devotion. Time is spent each night sharing, praying, worshipping and studying together. Definitely one of my favourite times of the day. Get to recharge, discuss and get to know each other better. Tonight we’re doing some Bible study and worship.
7.30pm- Free time. Much hilarity playing cards with the team and our Khmer driver/translator. We taught him Irish snap, which is so much fun when playing with 11+ people. Have also used lots of the free time to chat to my new buddies on the team; they challenge and inspire me massively. Checked Facebook and my emails.
10.30pm- Shower and bed. Always have to make sure the air conditioning is on, can be a bit dodgy sometimes. Every day is packed, so I always fall asleep straight away