Saturday, April 28, 2012

Wednesday in SR

  Much like Tues and Thursday I wake at 615.  Unlike Tues I do not make playdough.  I do have pb toast, banana and tea and check for email, facebook messages and read the news.  Then it's off to work at the preschool program, Lotus Kids Club (LKC).  I've mentioned how much I enjoy the the PS, it's mostly due to the children.  So let me tell you about the kids.  Half the children are Vietnamese and half are Khmer.  The teachers are aware of this and it appears to not make a difference to them, thankfully.  And of course the kids could care less.  One of the teachers is in fact Vietnamese.  I believe however that she's always lived in Cambodian as have the Vietnamese children and possibly some of the parents too.  I think I can tell the difference between the kids physically but I could be fooling myself.  There is talk among the kids in Vietnamese so it's helpful to have a Vietnamese speaker.  For the most part the V. kids understand Khmer but some are not entirely fluent.  Part of the reason they attend the program is to learn about Khmer culture and the language.  This is important in order to attend public school.
Body drawings at LKC PS
Water play at LKC PS

  There are 2 sisters, Khmer, in the program and the younger one found it difficult to separate from older sis when the school year started.  Some of the older kids have a short session on learning more formally the Khmer alphabet.  We had a meeting and plan in place to address the issue.  More quickly than we anticipated she separated as she discovered the play materials and playmates.  Also support from the teachers was helpful.   The older sis, a bit quiet and shy, took readily to doing puzzles, her younger sis followed suit and both are masters of the puzzle area.  I like that the older sis has also been freehand drawing, drawing often Khmer princesses, Khmer wedding dresses, she's getting good.  Most of the kids will draw but often like tracing or just coloring pictures.
all love this puzzle  LKC PS

  It's been most interesting watching the kids' play become more mature and complex.  When the school year began it seemed like all the kids would be at the playdough table.  Now days may go by without the playdough being touched.  Dramatic play (pretend play) has increased.  And lately hairdressing is the rage with both the girls and boys.  Once again 'tools' brought in are used in a different way then intended.  Water spray bottles were intended for coloring with colored water.  The kids did that for awhile and then decided to clean the walls and water plants.  A few days later one of the kids spayed and combed his hair.  This spread like wildfire and lead to the kids doing each others'.  And then the 'hair salon' happened and they started doing each other's hair complete with mirror and a sheet covering the designated recipient in a chair.  This continues and has spread to the afternoon program with older kids.  They all seem very concerned with their hair these days.
one hair station  LKC PS

  After the morning PS program ends with the kids I do a short training session with the teachers on early childhood development/education.  Then I head home for lunch, which may be leftovers or I'll stop at a stand I like to get grilled fish or meat sometimes.  But it can also be a simple stir fry or soup and of course rice.  Usually cost 1 to 2 dollars and is filling.  Some days I will get in a nap even for just a half hour or so.  A beer at lunch helps facilitate this, in this heat a beer goes down easy.

  The afternoon program for kids of all ages runs from 2-4.  Wed is the designated sports and games day.  This means some simple board games, frisbee, ball play, skipping rope, hula hoops and some Khmer games.      How quickly the kids learned how to hula hoop, play frisbee and understand the board games.  Even the Western game Sorry was learned quickly.  To learn Sorry was an interesting and initially challenging process.  If you know the game there is quite a bit to remember so coaching through the game was necessary at first.  The afternoon program is growing and evolving nicely.
LKC Aft. Prog.

  After the program ends I most likely on Wednesdays go to play tennis for a couple of hours or so.  I'm hot, thirsty and hungry at this point (it's in the 90's these days).  Dinner could be purchased on the way home at a Khmer food stand/open-air restaurant.  I'll sit and have a beer while I wait for a stir fry with noodles or rice. Dinner for two 12,000 riel (3 dollars) and a beer for 4,000.  I usually leave a 1 to 2 thousand riel tip, big spender that I am.  Or I could stop and get a delicious and filling falafel and hummus pita from a newly discovered place run by an Israeli.  That will put me back 7 dollars for 2.  And also a modest tip.  As a side note many people do not tip, even Americans who should be used to tipping.  Sometimes I get odd looks but I was in the biz and received my fair share so this is payback.  Or is that pay it forward?   We do have a variety of cuisine options (though not a lot of variety within those cuisines) for dinner also.  Almost everything is available from pizza and mex food, to steak and Guiness pie, a Brit/Aussie thing and very good especially with onion gravy mash potatoes.  Pizza and usually mex food can be delivered and we've gotten marguritas in a bag delivered as well.  It's a tough life here.   I/we do try to cook at least 3x a week though not always successful.  Difficult when the food here is so cheap and good.
the courts have been repainted since this pic was taken
frog legs w/ onions

  Usually my day ends on the balcony in altered states of consciousness unless there is a social event or possibly live music somewhere.  We have discovered how to download cable tv shows and movies so after perhaps watching a show sleep comes at anywhere from 930 to midnight.  Goodnight.
we have many more plants now

ahh sleep



Anne Damrosch said...

All sounds so good. Maybe the Family Room should introduce the beer at lunch idea.

Mim said...

Living the dream...... snowed on Saturday in VT.......

Corky said...

Wednesday sounds as good as Monday and Tuesday! I love the pace of your days, punctuated by beers to help facilitate a nap! And of course stimulated by your time with the kids.