On the way to the orphanage this morning we met the Director in Puok Market to buy the items we want to donate. Laura bought school uniforms for each child ($4 a set) and I bought 4 bicycles and 3 months worth of rice. We shared the cost of the flip-flops! We also got 10 new hammocks as the ones hung up beneath the house have huge holes in them - they were only $1 each and are really strong and should last ages - and some fruit - huge bunches of bananas and bags of oranges (very few people in Cambodia can afford to see a dentist so buying bags of sweets is discouraged).
The children were again lined up to welcome us and after dropping our shopping bags on the floor, we turned to find them all seated at the long table, eagerly staring at us waiting for the next activity! We spent the morning painting and drawing pictures with crayons, and then after lunch we got them all to try on their school uniforms. They looked so adorable - changing from grubby old clothes into pristine white shirts & blue skirts/trousers. The local school has until now refused to teach them as they could not afford uniforms - so it's lovely that they will now all be able to go to school (only half days though). The simple things which we just take for granted . . .
After posing for photos in their uniforms, and also the above photo with the bicycles I have donated, we spent an hour teaching basic English, before playing games and being treated to fresh coconut juice.
Tonight I'm meeting up with my friends Andy and Sokvann for farewell drinks. One of the guides who works with them, Manay (the one who introduced me to his mother!) is also coming along, and we're going to the Island Bar at the Night Market. I don't leave Siem Reap until Friday, but I have a few things to do over the next two evenings, so we decided to meet up tonight. Time here is starting to speed up. I leave for a week in Battambang on Friday morning.
See more photos in 'WFC Orphanage' album!
PS. I am still head over heals in love with the little girl I mentioned yesterday. Her name is Krouch and she is 12, although she looks about 9! She wears old clothes, with holes under the arms, and her feet are black from the dust, but she has the most gorgeous face, beautiful long dark hair, and a smile that completely melts my heart. Her father has died and her mother lives in dire poverty and so cannot look after her. It is going to break my heart when I leave on Thursday . . .