Friday, 2 December 2011
Time Fly’s When You’re Having Fun (Day 9)
Today we woke up to our final full day at the New Hope for Cambodian Children Orphanage at the regular time of 5 am. After another filling breakfast consisting of bowls of rice, pineapple and chicken, we began our day’s work of painting. Jason, Charlie and Amreeta were picked out of a hat to assist the cooks with purchasing the day’s food supplies at the local market. It must have turned out to be a real thrill because lunch came out as rice, eel soup, prawn noodles and some of the most delicious bread we’ve ever eaten. From 11 till 1 we had our regular siesta, escaping the midday heat by retreating inside for some card games, cool drinks and a nice little nap. After our break we were back out on our feet to finish off our painting. Over all the days we’ve been here we have managed to complete the interior of one house in a cluster and the windows and doors in a second.
A cluster is a group of four buildings consisting of three housing units surrounding one open air communal kitchen/dining area. Each cluster is organised into a different colour theme and there are eight different clusters all around the orphanage. Each housing unit consists of five bedrooms, two bathrooms and a small common room. The roofs were open ceilings reaching up to the roof tiles about six meters off the ground. To reach that high we attached paint rollers to very long bamboo poles with gaffa tape (good idea with the tape, dad) and took advantage of our heights to get the job done. All this was done in temperatures that exceeded 38⁰C. Nevertheless, we have found ourselves to have become acclimatised to the heat so it wasn’t so bad. We were able to knock off around an hour early due to the fact that we had worked our way through all the paint.
That evening, we were able to purchase t-shirts off John Tucker (the founder behind NHCC). We also purchased a quilt that we were all able to sign and we are told that it will be hung up somewhere around the orphanage. We are also thinking of buying a box of quilts to use as a separate fundraiser back in the Mackillop community (looking forward to your financial support for an incredibly bubbly and happy group of people... the kids, not us :-))
Most of us have become close to the kids here and it was a delight to receive parting gifts the evening before we leave. It’s going to be a sad and emotional morning tomorrow as we leave and won’t have a good chance to say goodbye, as the children will already be at school. But we will all try to be there at the gate to wave them off as they leave.
Quote of the day – Mr Pickering: Has anyone got a piece of wood to shove in this hole?? (major leak in the guy’s bathroom, and NOT GAY THOUGH!)
Today’s blog was written by Patrick Newton and Nathan Backer