Thank God for mini aubergines

Well, I’ve taught a couple of cracking science lessons this week – even the school director was impressed.  Perhaps I’ve missed my vocation after all.

I used great ingenuity, as the lesson plan to teach The Solar System required many spherical objects of different sizes, including a coriander seed and a blueberry.  Cambodia is famous for pepper, so I substituted a peppercorn for the coriander seed, but knew that the chance of finding a blueberry over here was about as remote as finding a bag of crunchy, fried spiders in the Crisps and Nibbles aisle in Waitrose.

So I wandered around the market, looking for inspiration, and discovered mini aubergines – so mini that they look more like small grapes – but ideal for my purposes.


There was one slight hiccup to begin with, as I assembled all the materials I’d brought from England.


The inflatable football, once inflated, turned out to be an inflatable hammer.


Ideal for hitting your friends – or –


or as a hilarious penis extension.

But we used an inflatable globe instead and away we went.


At least with Khmer speakers there was no sniggering about the size of Uranus.

It was wet playtime on Thursday.

DSC_2310When even a trip to the loo required an umbrella.


When the water reached the step into the classroom, all the shoes started floating away.


Then a little frog jumped into the classroom


and the children created him a raft made of a flip-flop, and he sailed off down the rainwater.


On Tuesday I arrived at school to discover that all the power had been switched off as Alan needed all the electricity in the whole school to fire up and test the machine he’s just built.


When I asked what it was, he explained that it is a machine to heat a bedroom up to 50 degrees C, and he had found a buyer for it.

I wondered briefly who was madder; the person who thought that Cambodia wasn’t hot enough and that it would be a good idea to invent a machine to heat your bedroom to 50 degrees, or the person who agreed to buy it.  Then he explained that it is a method of killing bedbugs and their larvae; you heat the room for four hours and it gets rid of them all, and a hotel wanted to buy it.  Apparently bedbugs are a real problem over here … hope my hotel has invested in one of these machines.

And these are the Ovaltineys –


enjoying the latest snack craze at school – you just eat the powder straight out of the sachet with a small spoon.

One of the expat staff left school to return to the UK this week.  She only ever wears green, so her staff all turned up in green too, for a Team Green photo.


And then she was presented with her leaving gift.


‘Well, I’m not sure what this is, but at least it’s green.’

It turned out to be a green Cambodian hammock – just the ticket for an afternoon snooze in a Surrey garden.