The adventures of Jo!


About schoollife and your money!
November 29, 2006, 3:33 pm
Filed under: my life in cambodia, projects, sponsoring!

Hello everyone! It`s been a while that I wrote on here. Shame on me! How are you?I am fine! More and more I am starting to get to know my students better and I feel that I am also growing as a teacher. I try more things and I follow more my own style of teaching. I also know the girls better. It is sometimes weird to be a teacher here, because after schooltime you are getting more and more friends with them too. You talk to them, they learn me khmer,… very nice!Last Saturday I also went to a birthdayparty of a sister of a student of me. I was very happy she invited me and it was a nice party. Nice to observe some things, like how boys and girls behave to eachother (girls don’t really speak with the boys.. my students who normally talk a lot, were very silent when they were close). Sometimes it is difficult teaching here, not because of the language or something, but because on on hand it is less organised but on the other hand there are some stupid, strict rules. The combination of the two can make it very frustrating sometimes. You don’t have materials, there are not enough teachers or teachers are absent, hours can change every five seconds,, nobody checks what you are doing in your lesson,… are the chaotic, not organised examples. But there are also these rules that the (Asian?) sisters have or on some things they can be strict. Most of the time I don’t get annoyed by it. I am quiet flexible and I knew this in advance too. And I can adapt myself to a lot of situations. Sometimes it can be more frustrating. But anyway, I don’t make myself angry in it, that is no use. I try to work in all kind of situations, it is interesting. And sometimes it also has his advantages. Anyway, I just try to focus on doing my best with the girls. Other things I did in the past weekends…mmm I went swimming one time! Can you imagine, lying outside at a swimmingpool in november? And I also went shopping and I walked around in town. Relaxing things. But you need it. Well, I need it sometimes. 

Then I wanted to write something about the sponsormoney. I gave till now some little amounts to projects here and there that I came across during travelling (see earlier things I wrote). I gave a bigger part to the sisters here, to use for my students. Let me explain, these students are studying Home and Food management. So they learn how to cook. But there is not enough money to buy all the ingredients, so the girls have to buy it and bring to class. But they are too poor to buy it all the time. So they learn a lot of cooking without cooking. So part of the money is going to ingredients.Another small part I used for the volunteers room. We have a volunteersroom but it was more like a doctors waiting room (ilarias words). Because I think the volunteers here are very important and they also deserve something nice (not only this years volunteers, but also for the next years) I bought a radio and a pinboard. On the pinboard there are now pictures, a calendar…. So our room looks nicer now and we have music!I think in total I used now about half of the money. I will give a better report at the end of the year. If people still want to donate, just email me (Jo_Frederix@hotmail.com) and will give you my belgian bank account.I (and the other volunteers) also started to make an english “book”. The girls don’t have english books here, they write everything down in a notebook. I also started with making copies for them with the money. But I am typing now in word a kind of book. They need some special english, about hotel, restaurant… and they need basic english.. so a combination of the two, that you don’t really find in excisting books. So if this is finished I will give maybe more money to the school here to print this book for the next years.  

So, I hope the people who helped me are happy that they know a little bit more J But I am happy here. Sometimes it seems to be a long time or you miss some things. But there are so many nice moments that makes you feel warm and happy and you forget the less nice moments like that in a second. now I can already tell you about the nice moments of last month but I don’t remember the other moments. That is good no? Oh and not only the people here make me feel that way. I am still receiving nice mails and cards from people who are reading this. They say me things like “you are doing a good job”or “because of you I realised there are so many possibilities in life”That makes me go wooooooooooow. Thank you so much. Love,Teacher Jo X  

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About schoollife and your money!
November 29, 2006, 3:27 pm
Filed under: my life in cambodia, projects, sponsoring!

Hello everyone! It`s been a while that I wrote on here. Shame on me! How are you?I am fine! More and more I am starting to get to know my students better and I feel that I am also growing as a teacher. I try more things and I follow more my own style of teaching. I also know the girls better. It is sometimes weird to be a teacher here, because after schooltime you are getting more and more friends with them too. You talk to them, they learn me khmer,… very nice!Last Saturday I also went to a birthdayparty of a sister of a student of me. I was very happy she invited me and it was a nice party. Nice to observe some things, like how boys and girls behave to eachother (girls don’t really speak with the boys.. my students who normally talk a lot, were very silent when they were close). Sometimes it is difficult teaching here, not because of the language or something, but because on on hand it is less organised but on the other hand there are some stupid, strict rules. The combination of the two can make it very frustrating sometimes. You don’t have materials, there are not enough teachers or teachers are absent, hours can change every five seconds,, nobody checks what you are doing in your lesson,… are the chaotic, not organised examples. But there are also these rules that the (Asian?) sisters have or on some things they can be strict. Most of the time I don’t get annoyed by it. I am quiet flexible and I knew this in advance too. And I can adapt myself to a lot of situations. Sometimes it can be more frustrating. But anyway, I don’t make myself angry in it, that is no use. I try to work in all kind of situations, it is interesting. And sometimes it also has his advantages. Anyway, I just try to focus on doing my best with the girls. Other things I did in the past weekends…mmm I went swimming one time! Can you imagine, lying outside at a swimmingpool in november? And I also went shopping and I walked around in town. Relaxing things. But you need it. Well, I need it sometimes. 

Then I wanted to write something about the sponsormoney. I gave till now some little amounts to projects here and there that I came across during travelling (see earlier things I wrote). I gave a bigger part to the sisters here, to use for my students. Let me explain, these students are studying Home and Food management. So they learn how to cook. But there is not enough money to buy all the ingredients, so the girls have to buy it and bring to class. But they are too poor to buy it all the time. So they learn a lot of cooking without cooking. So part of the money is going to ingredients.Another small part I used for the volunteers room. We have a volunteersroom but it was more like a doctors waiting room (ilarias words). Because I think the volunteers here are very important and they also deserve something nice (not only this years volunteers, but also for the next years) I bought a radio and a pinboard. On the pinboard there are now pictures, a calendar…. So our room looks nicer now and we have music!I think in total I used now about half of the money. I will give a better report at the end of the year. If people still want to donate, just email me (Jo_Frederix@hotmail.com) and will give you my belgian bank account.I (and the other volunteers) also started to make an english “book”. The girls don’t have english books here, they write everything down in a notebook. I also started with making copies for them with the money. But I am typing now in word a kind of book. They need some special english, about hotel, restaurant… and they need basic english.. so a combination of the two, that you don’t really find in excisting books. So if this is finished I will give maybe more money to the school here to print this book for the next years.  

So, I hope the people who helped me are happy that they know a little bit more J But I am happy here. Sometimes it seems to be a long time or you miss some things. But there are so many nice moments that makes you feel warm and happy and you forget the less nice moments like that in a second. now I can already tell you about the nice moments of last month but I don’t remember the other moments. That is good no? Oh and not only the people here make me feel that way. I also had some really nice mails and cards from people who are reading this. They say me things like “you are doing a good job”or “because of you I realised there are so many possibilities in life”That makes me go wooooooooooow. Thank you so much. Love,Teacher Jo X  



Cambodia, through the eyes of my students
November 14, 2006, 2:39 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

This morning –due to circumstances and absent teachers – I suddenly had a class of 36 students, first and second years mixed. Not knowing what to teach, I decided to let them talk and think. In groups of four, they had to talk about
Cambodia. Every group had a paper with in the middle
Cambodia and they just had to write what comes into their mind if they think about their country.
I thought it would be funny to share you in this, maybe you will get a better image! If some things were mentioned in more groups I will tell you. Some are funny, some are nice, some are also about some negative things. Enjoy! 

-classical music/famous classical music (3x)-pop music (2x)-waterfestival-Khmer Happy New Year-have boxing-have a good prime minister-good food (5x)-a lot of motos(2x), cars (2x) and bicycles (2x) (they didn’t see the lowlands yet J )-have fresh air (of the motos? J no, in countryside indeed)-a lot of small houses-full of traffic accidents (3x)-a lot of poor people/poverty (7x)-the waterfestival and the (cannot read writing) festival during four to six days, we are happy! (2x)-play games at new year-independence day: fireworks-culture, have a sculpture belief (don’t know what they meant with this, that they have lot of sculptures?)
Angkor wat (5x)
-sea food (2x)-a lot of factories (4x)-have nice river and lake-many mountains (2x)-special fish in Crochas province-friendly (2x)-have a lot of pleasant (what?) -have a lot of temples (2x)-forest (3x)-rice (3x) (rice??whereeeeeee? I didn’t notice that…)-nice people (2x)-a lot of animals (2x) -a lot of markets (2x)-music-a lot of fruit (3x)-needy -a lot of fish (2x)-unmisdoing (??? I have no idea what they mean with this)-a lot of trees (2x)-a lot of antique-flood (I think they mean in rain season) -drug-gamble-hooker-sea-Two seasons (according to some there are two seasons, others say three, some say even four… anyway, all agree that we are now in the cold season. Oh yeah, I am so freezing here…) (writing this while I am sweating…) -famine-farms-rich supermarkets (2x)-AIDS-nice shops-immigrants -prime minister-rich people -full of corruption and robbering, killing, bribe, bribering, nepotism, breaking law, sniffing children (one of my first years who want to be a politician she said. And finish all the corruption) (what is sniffing? Does she mean trafficking?)-the Cambodian people still celebrate the traditional.-commercial field, tourism field, industrial field and agricultural field-museum (I cannot read which museum they mean)-royal palace-killing fields

Sihanoek
Village
Beach and Sea. (2x)
-remote area, country side-lot of resort-international organizations-development-the zoo -law education-the graduated job less (?)-the most people grow the rice-good school -television-telephone-road-the children centers-landmines-rock-good: the tourist industry-restaurants-hotels



Temples!
November 12, 2006, 3:05 am
Filed under: projects, travelling in cambodia

Hello,

After one day of waterfestival in Phnom Penh (very nice, lot of people), we decided to pack our bags and go in the direction of Siem Reap! Sunday morning at the busstation we discovered that we were stupid because we didnt reserve a ticket. no place in the 8.15 bus, only at 11.30 bus. we decided to go first to another buscompany to try there.. when a cambodian guy from the no-places-on-8.15 bus heared that, he called someone. Suddenly there was also a bus at 8.45! we had the first seats… I love cambodia. belgian busguys would never find a new bus for you!

Arriving in Siem Reap it was clear that this was quiet different than other cambodian cities we have seen. Touristic, very western looking and more expensive and even more people who are trying to sell you things … a bit annoying sometimes, but still it was also nice to have some western food and stuff.

Monday we visited the Angkor Wat and other temples in the temple complex. Very nice and very interested… I took a lot of pictures but only placed a few online, because if you can find a lot of pictures of the temples on the internet, try google!

Tuesday we decided we were already sick of the many tourists and we took a taxi and drove 60 km outside siem reap to a temple called Beng Melea (i think, my memory is not so  good today). Wonderful. quiet. jungle. snakes! (really, we almost stepped on one! and our guide said it was a dangerous one! but it was also a small one and nothing happened. we are carefull) really really beautiful.

back in siem reap, we visited the market. ohohoh for someone like me it is very difficult to visit markets in cambodia. so many nice things… (too many choices)

 Wednesday we first went to the Landmine museum. Although it is very very small and I am not interested in technically stuff about mines, I liked it. it made me realise how many mines there were and still are in cambodia and how many people are victims of that. the guy who runs the museum also takes care of some children who are victims of the landmines.

 in the afternoon me and bernadette visited the Cambodian Cultural Village. for the belgians: a bit like bokrijk. information about culture and history of cambodia and a lot of shows, dances…. I liked the atmosphere there. a lot of cambodian people and such a relaxed atmosphere. all the time laughing… nice.

 now we are back here, ready to work again! the long weekends are finished for a while, so the next weeks we will visit more of Phnom Penh. but probably my next blog posts will not be about my travels, but more about other things. I still have to think about what 🙂

My students are all ok and trying to work hard.

Kiss,

JO



sporty weekend
November 1, 2006, 4:12 pm
Filed under: travelling in cambodia

Hello again!

Everything is still very good here. I am suprised how much people are reading this sometimes. oh, and I was even more suprised to discover that on sites about cambodia my site is a link there… and there are also italian and maybe austrian people on here now… welcome to everyone 🙂

Last weekend, Ilaria and I went to Battambang. Yes, I know I have been there before, but that time I went with the sisters and spend more time in the project and not in the country. so this time we went to discover the countryside! we arrived on saturday and walked around in battambang, a little city (with nice bakeries!)> On sunday we rent a bike and cycled between wonderful trees, ricefields, little villages,… on one moment a woman called us. we followed her between her orangetrees… her family was sitting there on a nice spot. they start peeling their very tasty oranges. i think i had five or something… that wasnt it, when we left, she gave us two bags of fruit. really really  nice people and wonderful experience. oh, we gave the fruit away to beggars and streetchildren… there were many of them and it was sometimes hard to eat outside as they were staring at you or starting to touch you… so we gave some fruit…

on monday we took two motodups into the country and visited two temples. both of them are on a hill so we did a lot -really a lot- of stairs… but it was a very nice day too!

 anyway, it was again a nice weekend in this beautiful country…

here at school everything is fine. my students are fine too. friday they have a little test again, let’s see how they are doing. maybe i will ask TO Be again. next weekend there is again a long weekend (well, a very long one, almost a week, only friday class… but saturday we will have to work too next week I think). yes, i know.. but after this it normally stops for a while, the bankholidays and stuff.

I wanted to explain a bit about what I said about freedom. Dasha (thanks for long comment 😉 ) asked about it and I think maybe more people are wondering what I meant. People who know me, know that I also like to be alone, or to be “independent”. as I lived already five years “op kot” (during the week in student room in other city) (and two years from the five years more or less always away from home I think…), I am used to it. Here I live all the time with seven sisters, two volunteers, seventy girls, a lot of staff and than during the day a lot of children too. there are moments you can be alone and have time for yourself, but still, you cannot choose if you want to go, of with who you spend your night or whatever. even stupid little things like the food (although it is very good food and it is nice that there is a cook for you!) is choosen for you. It is not really a problem or something that is very difficult for me for the moment. i can live with it and it is a nice experience and i do get a lot of appreciation… and probably i will have to get used to in belgium to live alone again (or with a few people) and I will miss my girls, the cook, the sisters, …… but I also know I will be happy to have my own little place again and to be able to do what I like… i hope you understand better now!

but as I said, for the moment I dont really see it as a problem, I just miss it sometimes a bit.

 but anyway, I am going to sleep now!

love,

Joxxx