It was a most strange start to the day as the local monks in the very nearby monastery decided to have a bit of an early morning ‘prayathon’. This is not something that they start and simply carry on with nor is it done once and then over with – they just keep punctuating batches of praying with varying periods of silence. The silences that the monks leave have been strategically calculated by them to just allow souls such as ourselves to, after a bit of swearing, relax back down into our sleeping positions and just about to drift off towards that land called ‘Nod’. Just drifting off and then the monks come back at you once more with more loud chanting and backing vocals, again another burst before they stop and the whole thing begins over again! Argh, naughty monks!
The monks continued chanting on and off until our usual waking time so we were not in the best frame of mind when we got out of bed and doubtless we looked the part too, but having little in the way of a mirror at this point seemed to us to be almost a saving grace. Then it was through the fence and the house next door once more to the breakfast cafe for some more breakfast noodles after which Kamnet took us for a quick drive only a short way to the place where the wailing had been going on earlier in the day, to the monastery. This was the place where Kamnet himself had come to when he first entered the priesthood as well as the hut he used to live in by himself. He also explained that his father was actually buried in the grounds of the monastery and showed us his plot. He is a really interesting guy and I always love finding out more about him as he just has so many different facets and good qualities.
After Kamnet’s trip of reminiscences it was back to the school and we learnt how to cook more Cambodian dishes, this time it was Luk Lak Beef and Ginger Chicken and we had this for dinner along with sticky white rice (for a change eh!). Kamnet’s wife also cooked up another dish, Cambodian Chicken and Pineapple Red Curry which was even more delicious than the ones we had cooked, this was just to good to be true. After the food we just relaxed in the garage with Kamnet and after chatting with him a bit we told him about the Workaway website that we had joined. So we decided to charge up his laptop and get him an advert up on the site, which on his laptop and with the internet connection, was easier said than done. If we could do it though it should enable other volunteers to have as much of a good time as we were having here and, hopefully with a bit of luck Kamnet could earn a bit of money from the experience.
We got him something rigged up on the website just before some people turned up from the Canadian charity who help fund Kamnet’s school and are putting money towards building the school a new bathroom and not a moment too soon for my liking … lol. It was quite appropriate as I was outside quite clothes-less after just having one of the jug showers using the grubby water from the big vases by Kamnet’s house. The funders seemed a nice enough bunch if a little religious for my liking and they were quite interested in our travels too. They soon enough went though and it was time, after a little Kamnet encouragement to have a wee kip before it was time for the Hughes’ to teach.
Once more we both really enjoyed the whole teaching thing with the kids as they are a real treat, just so happy to learn English with us. Some of the teachers still seem quite intent on teaching English grammar to the students when realistically they are still at the stage of needing more help with their basic pronunciation. To be fair, when I was teaching we concentrated more on their conversation and they seemed to appreciate this a bit more, doing it this way also helped to bring some of the shyer students out of their shells as I was not just pressurising them to build entire sentences, they simply had to repeat over and over some of the words that they had difficulties with. Some of the quieter ones even seemed to be ‘getting it’, it was all a bit like Eliza Doolittle!
For a change we had more food after the lessons and then we just relaxed and had more laughs with Kamnet’s wife and the kids, once again part of the fun was using the laptop and doing some serious silly face pulling but we also did some ‘other’ silly stuff, you know, dancing, singing and, as always, we ended up testing them on their English spellings and the alphabet both of which they were really good at and they always really seem to love showing off their skills.