The adventures of Jo!

Help me…?
June 26, 2006, 4:20 pm
Filed under: sponsoring!


me again! how are you? i am fine… writing my thesis and reading books about cambodia (i went to the library and got a few! yeah!). So, most of you know what I will be doing in Cambodia? It is a school for children and young women who come from outside the city, they also sleep there. There are also other activities after schooltime. I will be mainly teaching english.. And I have a few questions: 

1. As you also know, I am not a native english speaker. And I am also not an english student. And I was never good in english at school. Well, i learned a lot of english by studying in dublin for one year ofcourse, but it is not that I am an english teacher. First the people over there emailed me: “the young girls you will be handling/teaching have already some foundation in English language and you may need more or English conversations, Grammar, Prose and a bit of literature.” today they also emailed that I will also teach elementary school kids.
I have absolutely no idea what they know and what they should learn. I will see over there I guess. BUT i also heared that they need really “practical” english, like how to talk with tourists.. or if they read something about mayonaise in their western english book, that they have a recipe to make it and to really taste what it is.
I am also not good in grammar and i don’t know a lot about literature. Lyrics are also fun, but I also don’t know what they mean all the time.
Ooooo and games for children, where they learn words? songs?
SOOO: my question: if you think you have some really good ideas for teaching or if you have some material that you can copy and send by post or send it by email (, i will be very thankful.  I cannot take a lot of books to there, my luggage will be heavy anyway (what do you take for 9 months?), but i prefer to take one or two good basic english books, to teach myself a bit. if you have an old one.. or if you have a very good text on your pc and send it by email.. or whatever.. or recipes, lyrics where there is a meaning, storys, wordgames, songs… email me, write me, leave a comment…
2. I am also “collecting money”. Today they emailed me:”…we could buy what we need most urgently
like rice, food for the children and the girls, because we do not have people to support us and the girls are too poor to pay for their food and materials. We have about 70 children and young girls staying with us who are really very poor and we need to support them.” is about where I am staying.
you also see on the pictures (see: links: vides UK) some very mmm how do you say it.. “empty” classrooms.
Also: I will visit some other projects in cambodia, like projects who work with children who work as garbage pickers (
and i will decide how much money i give to which project,… so i will know where the money is going to. So if you want to support the projects, please let me know by email or a comment. I also am selling a few cards, my mum will be selling waffles, …. but if you feel like supporting more, you are welcome. You are also still welcome by giving money later, if I am already in cambodia and you read my stories.

thank you very much to read this!


Jo x


In the hospital, part III and books about Cambodia history…
June 21, 2006, 7:28 pm
Filed under: preparations in belgium

Olé, I am still alive after three hospital visits! joehoeeee!!! only one more… I will be happy if it is finished, to be honest!

 Than I want to tell you about this really good book… “First they killed my father”, by Loung Ung. I read it in two days or something, because I really thought it was interesting. Loung Ung was five years old when the problems in Cambodia started… She lived in Phnom Penh, in a good family: they went to school, had a lot of things,… When Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge army stormed into Phnom Penh in April 1975, Ung’s family was forced to flee their home and hide their previous life of privilege. This was because the Khmer Rouge didn’t like people had education or any influence (especially not from the west). They wanted the people to be working hard, sharing everything (communisme..), not wearing things like juwels,….  Loung was trained as a child soldier in a work camp for orphans while her other siblings were sent to labor camps. Only after the Vietnamese destroyed the Khmer Rouge were Loung and her surviving siblings slowly reunited. (i cited a few things from her website: ) A lot of people died or dissapeared during this period…

Besides a part of the history, you get to know a lot of things about the culture: food, clothes, climate…. it’s really interesting. but also the history… i have to say that aweful things happen and that the book is not always very cheerful. well, the history wasn’t. i didn’t know so many things happened in Cambodia. Well, as I was always bad in geography and history, I don’t know a lot of things anyway… and i don’t like to read history books. but i love to read these kind of storys, i will remember much more about it. Altough the history is not really “nice” I am really interested to learn more… A half year ago I didn’t know anything about Cambodia. Not at all.

A bit of coincidence and some curiosity led me to the decision to go to this country. From zero knowledge, I know now a bit more. and I am really excited about learning more…. ofcourse I am afraid sometimes too: other people make their choice to go to a country they were really interested in advance, where they know the language, where they have a lot of knowledge about,…. It feels like I am jumping into the dark. but i like it. But I will try to make it a bit brighter by reading a few books or talking with some people in advance….

Anyway, this is getting way to long and probably not very useful or interesting to read, so I wish you all a good night!

Jo x

In the hospital, part II
June 14, 2006, 4:16 pm
Filed under: preparations in belgium

aw my arm hurts but i feel much better than last time, no dizzyness and stuff. the nurses were really nice for me and a bit overprotective this time, but anyway, I feel fine, except my arm. It was japanese encefalitis (is this also english?) and rabies (haha, come on dogs, you can bite me now! or maybe not…) today, have to go back twice for these. hurrah!

 ohohoh MY EXAMS ARE FINISHED! HURRAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! the 5th of july I know the results! hopefully also HURRAH 😉

and I cannot drink alcohol today or tomorrow or the day after tomorrow because of the japanese encefalitis in my arm. aw.

anyway, i am going to clean my room now! byebye! x

June 8, 2006, 2:57 pm
Filed under: preparations in belgium

*silly happy dance*

 I just got an email from university that they will give me moneyyyy!!!!!! explanation: there are special scholarshipsthings for students who want to do development co-operation and if you get it, the university will pay a part of your flight, vaccinations,… which is very cool! and i got it! HURRAH! HURRAH! HURRAH!

 am really happy with that. you see.

 then, other things. well, i have exams! HURRAH! (oh no, that hurrah is still for the money, not for the exams 😉 ) no exams are okay, i  hope… and the sun is shining!

no more cambodia news I guess… i emailed a few times with the sisters by who i am going to stay over there, and they seem to be very nice in the emails, so that is good. it is also nice to see that people are actually already visiting this blog!so i feel that i have to write things even if i have nothing to say :):):)

anyway, i am going to study a bit and be happy a bit more!

Jo x