*rubs eyes* is it almost March already? I bet your wondering where the year has gone! well we can tell you with a series of updates of our families! So sit back, wriggle until your comfortable and get ready to hear all about whats been happening over here in Cambodia!
We will start with our youngest members and work our way up-
Kids, Our little star lights.
Even though Christmas is not a Buddhist holiday, for some strange reason their school decided to throw a big Christmas party, and our little disco divas loved every second of it, each class did a dance performance in front of the whole school where they could show case their best moves.
All our little ones moved up a grate last semester, and while Raksa aced every class with A's, the rest struggled in the higher grade. On seeing their first semester results we knew they needed some extra help and assistance, So Mumma Cas marched down to the school to question why they all received such low marks, when attendance is 100% and participation is at 95%.
After a chat with both the teachers and the principle it was decided extra assistance in the classrooms was necessary. When second semester rolled around every single score had improved a grade, the D's had turned to C's the B's to A's, they all came bouncing in to show us their improvement. Smiles from ear to ear! Proud. As. Punch.
This year, one of our smallest bubs started "Big kid school" He was riddled with excitement everyday before he started, waking up every morning asking 'Is today the day?'
Unfortunately our little Darlin has been in hospital all week with a severe parasite, something thats all too common here in Cambodia. We are happy to report he is now on the mend and will be back at school in no time!
Thourn and Jill
We love visiting Thourn, its always a laugh and a reminder to see the fun side of life. On our last Thourn insisted on showing us exactly how to use the badminton rackets we'd given them for Christmas. The kids told us she plays more than they do, and hides the shuttlecocks so they cant play without her! Its impossible not to giggle when Thourn giggles, its contagious!
For those of you who knew Lauren and I's grandpa 'Bibby' she reminds us a lot of him!
Jill the cow had a turn for the worst this month, contracting an infection that almost claimed her life. Thourn rang our social worker Samnang in a bit of a panic, asking for assistance.
Samnang was out on a delivery with Papa, and for all of you who don't know, Papa's secret nickname is the cow-whisperer. He was over there in a flash, knew what was wrong just by looking at her, he sent Samnang too the vet to get some medicine while he sat there massaging Jills stomach and legs.
VOLLA! Within 24 hours Jilly was back to her old self! Thourn said it coursed her enough worry to last a life-time!
On our last visit to see Heng, we sat and talked about her veggies.
She spoke about each crop, and how much they are flourishing.
She spoke about how she is now selling them to other villages.
She spoke about what it takes to ensure all year round veggies.
Heng spoke with so much pride as she explained how she plants different crops for different season and how each area is carefully thought out.
It got us to thinking you can be highly educated and have never stepped foot in a classroom, you can be a well- informed professional at anything you are passionate about.
This is Heng, our vegetable growing guru, the most capable women in the world, standing proudly with her brand new 'cropcare' equipment.
This year has had it's ups and downs, we have lost donors and gained donors. The AUS $ exchange rate is really taking its tole here with the amount we have been left with after the conversion. Every semester is a claw to get the funds we need to secure the educational future for our kids, so we thank each and everyone of you who continually choose to support us.
We had a set back when a donor told us they would not continue to support us they have decided to donate to Africa next year, our hearts broke, but of course there are always angels in the world, and upon hearing of our worries, rallied together and sent the amount for the next years fees.
We are so grateful for all of you. For trusting us, and supporting us. You are changing lives.