Hey ! (after all I am in the South)- I made it home Tues at 2am 30 hours after I left Singapore! I slept, read, and watched movies. Unfortunately we had to wait for 3 hours on the plane in New York for the airport in Atlanta to reopen after some freak weather- hail, rain, wind, tornado watches- just the usual! By then I had already figured out the entertainment system so after a nap I watched a good independent film- Liberal Arts which I can recommend. It is Friday and I am still getting up in the wee hours of the morning. I think it is a combination of time change and exhaustion from the pace of the trip.
The teachers are in training this week. The word from Chamroeun is that it is going well but they now want some developmental education -perhaps we have a volunteer that can speak to them about developmental milestones for 3-6 year olds. I have located another preschool in Siem Reap province that is willing to have our teachers observe. So stay tuned for new developments coming in the future. It is so amazing that once given a taste of possibility they just run with it and hunger for more! We are ready for change. I just have to find the connections. I can just see the difference in the country too- it is ripe for change. The youth are no longer isolated and will start demanding to have their needs met. Education is critical to this whole process and what better way to start than with a 3 yr old whose whole world is open to possibility. How exciting!!
We will have a few new board members. Sotia Hok who will help monitor our program in Battambang and Sybil who is an entrepeneur- and a fundraising genius, as well as the Singapore crew- very creative and innovative. So we are on our way in 2013.
I am going to post here our new projects which we need funding for. The first is our adult literacy classes for our parents. We need to cover the cost of the teacher for 1 year (t0 be determined). The beekeeping project- $150 for each hive and $700 for a weeks training which equals $2500 for 12 hives. The gardening project- the scope of which is yet to be determined. Right now we have only banana trees. The soil needs amending. We are also looking at planting a live fence perhaps of something that bears fruit or vegetable that can be eaten. The roof needs to be repaired. We would like to replace our playground equipment which is now 10 years old. Another project we would like to start would be afterschool English and computer classes. We are sourcing for computer donations now. These will be posted elsewhere on our website and broken down in amounts for easier donation.
I want to say thank you to our partners Singapore American School National Honor Society, St Andrews Catholic Chapel Singapore, Blessings in a Bag for their donation of goods, my dentist Dr. Sylvan who donated toothbrushes and toothpaste and to Dr Monika and her dental students for donating their time to our kids! Without all your help this trip would not have been possible. Of course I need to thank my family for their support especially my husband Jeff who is forever asked to finance the many things the Center needs. And a big thank you to Barbara Rinehart who traveled with me -spent her time and money on our kids and has been my mainstay in Singapore -gave me the use of a phone and a place to stay.
This is my last blog for this trip but look for more updates as things progress. We will be doing some online fundraising hopefully through www.kickstarter.com I welcome your participation and emails- we are all part of the world noone is isolated anymore.
Thanks for reading!!