Palm and Mango Trees – Andrea arrives in Tonloab

Playing in the library
Playing in the library
Germany-based Andrea is volunteering at our learning center in Tonloab, Cambodia. In this article, she writes about her first days in Cambodia and what she plans to offer to the students of the learning center.

Arrival in Tonloab
I was very happy when I finally arrived at Tonloab after almost 24 hours of travelling. The village is built on National Road 2, the traffic with it’s many motorcycles was very outstanding for me as a European. Most of the other roads aren’t tarred and have many palm or mango trees instead of traffic, sometimes you see a cow or a chicken. The people living here were smiling, waving and greeting me friendly.

When I met the host family for the first time I felt very lucky. These kind people offer me one of their rooms with air-condition to sleep and meals at their restaurant and don’t expect anything in exchange (but of course I have planned something for them already). They have a 17-years-old son and a daughter who is 10.

Students playing in the classroom
Students playing in the classroom
At the Learning Center all the students welcomed me very cordially, they even picked some flowers for me. The Learning Center shares the ground with the local primary school and has five classrooms and one library. The library includes books in Khmer and English and computers which can be used by the students. The team was very friendly and respected that I was very tired already.

Working with the team
Working with the local teachers is much fun. Working as a team is very important at the Learning Center, including the students and Vannak Pen, Head of the Learning Center. The team at the Learning Center is very young and they enjoy working with the students. They try many different teaching methodes such as singing or games. Everybody is open for new ideas and helps me integrate.

Learning how to handle a printer
Learning how to handle a printer
What I do / plan to do
My tasks at the Learning Center are manifold for example to create teaching marterials such as learncards or quizzes on the computer. Vannak and I discussed that I should do these things together with the students and also instruct them to some basic computer skills such as writing capital letters, delete a text, how to insert a picture etc. I also plan to do a little workshop about personal hygiene and want to start with teeth brushing as first topic.

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