Cambodian Research

Last summer I decided to take a course to learn to teach English as a foreign language.  One year on, despite passing with flying colours, I still haven’t found an opportunity to use my new-found skill.  So, with ‘use it or lose it’ firmly in my mind, I have arranged to spend seven weeks in Cambodia this summer volunteering in a children’s project in Siem Reap.

This week I received my teaching instructions, and my class is ‘Tigers and Rhinos’.  I’m hoping that this is just the name of the class, and not a zoological classification of the class members.  I will be teaching them English (good – I’m prepared for that), Geography (erm … not exactly my forte) and maths (gulp … definitely not my forte).

But with my customary enthusiasm I have thrown myself into the necessary research.  The geography module is all about Siem Reap province, which is slightly worrying as they live there and I don’t, so they should probably be teaching me about it.  But thanks to Google I am now au fait with the reverse water flow of the Tonle Sap River and the problems facing the giant catfish who live there.


The maths is a different matter.  One of the topics is doubling, which seems fairly straightforward – we can work in multiples of giant catfish – but there is also complementary numbers and non-numerical patterns on the scheme of work … more googling required, I think.



    1. no – sadly not – it’s by a French political cartoonist from the 1950s – he was an anti-capitalist anarchist … and cat lover.

  1. Oooooh look at me – getting the hang of this Blogging thingy – yeah !
    Loving all the news and comments, think this could all be good material for your next storyline. “Cambodian Capers”!
    I am conjuring up a mental imagine of the toothbrushing en-mass – made be LOL. Do you join in ? giggle.

    1. Hi Denise

      You have got the hang of it – well done!

      No – I haven’t joined in the communal toothbrushing – I’m much too refined to spit in public! X

  2. I’m really enjoying reading about all your experiences – keep writing! Loved the art class and the PE class especially. Much love xx

  3. Hi Louise
    I am loving the blogs! What an amazing experience! A PE teacher – I’ve heard it all now! Three afternoons of Games and a major team for you!!
    Loads of love and keep up the good work xx

  4. Just wanted to say I thought your drawing of Dad was very good. Captured the beard perfectly. Can’t wait to come out and join you. Sam

  5. Loving your blogs 🙂 Andrew thinks you’re nuts and should have gone for a stint as a stand-up comedian rather than scaring all those poor children!
    No more smiling! Poor Sokay…

    1. I was a very advanced reader … obviously! But I don’t remember my children reading them either – but we did have a book with a dog called Kipper … all v confusing.

  6. Loving your tales – totally as expected. Am hugely impressed you ate the insects… Puts Katrina and my bingo night to shame! Sending huge love and make sure you get a foot massage. Xxx

    1. Massage is def on my list – will add foot massage too. There’s nothing wrong with a game of bingo – I played with the kids last week – they had a great time!

    1. Sorry, but I have yet to feel the slightest feeling of warmth, let alone love, for anything at all to do with Biff and Chip. X

    1. I’ll write to Mr Dale just to make sure – I’m sure he could knock one up in a couple of hours. Then the girls will have to look after it – an umbrella when it rains, the odd slice of pizza etc.

  7. Loving your blog Louise, it makes me laugh out loud, especially your massage! What an amazing experience. Will be sad when you have to leave and return to the wilds of Norfolk. Looking forward to our next lunch!

  8. I’m really enjoying reading your stories – when do you leave for home? Can’t be long now? I wonder what you’ve missed most about life in the UK….. Marmite? Xxxxx

    1. Coming back next week – it’s absolutely flown by.

      What do I miss about the UK? Absolutely nothing … except for family and friends, of course!xx

      1. Hi Louise,
        I’ve enjoyed reading about your time in Cambodia so much and have eagerly awaited each new chapter of your exploits, so much so, I find myself checking more than once a day for the next entry.

        1. Thank you, Ruth – I’ve really enjoyed writing it too – it certainly makes you a more curious traveller.

          I’ll have to get busy planning my next trip! x

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