Had a great time today teaching at Chakrya's and Borromey's school (see pictures in 'Battambang' album). So many of the children came up to me afterwards asking if I could come back again tomorrow. When I explained that I would be going to Phnom Penh tomorrow and then home to the UK at the end of next week their faces fell! They have made me promise to go and teach them when I am next in Battambang.
Mid-afternoon I left the school, jumped on my motorbike, and spent a couple of hours with Theara, learning (much to Craig's astonishment I'm sure!) how to cook. I now have a fabulous recipe for Khmer stuffed tomatoes which I am addicted to and will be serving to anyone who visits for dinner in the near future. Heaven knows if they'll turn out like the ones Theara makes though!
Spent the evening with Sak's family again, helping Chakrya and Borromey with their English. I have bought them all a set of English books called 'Let's Go' which are popular textbooks in South East Asia. We worked through Book 2 (of 6) tonight and they are doing very well. By the time I return to Battambang they'll probably all be fluent, including Holly, who's only 5!
Speaking of Holly, the above photo was taken of us this afternoon. As soon as her Aunty had taken the photo, Holly turned to me, gave me one of her beautiful smiles, screwed up her eyes (in a really cute way) and called me 'Mummy'. My heart broke all over again . . . .
Everyone is coming to the hotel tomorrow morning at 8am to say goodbye. I'm dreading it in a way, as I have become so close to them and yet I'm separated so far by distance. Why on earth can't Cambodia be nearer!
Just before I left the house tonight to return to my hotel, I spoke a few lines of Khmer (thanks to the tuition of Sak's sister), thanking them for welcoming me into their home, how happy I have been here, and how I will miss them all very much.
Aw-Goon niert naa som-rap ket swah-goom k'nyom now p'ataya reu-bo niert. K'nyom sok-bai hai rum-perp jet naa. K'nyom me-un bom norng s'nat now tee-nee yoo. K'nyom nung nuk niert te-ern ot klang
I looked up from my book when I'd finished and everyone was staring at me. For an awful moment I thought I'd said something very wrong, but then the beautiful Khmer smile emerged and Sak finally broke the silence by saying that hearing me say these words in English is lovely, but hearing me speak the words in Khmer means so much more.