Archive forAugust, 2011

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We are uploading all our pictures on the following Flickr-page from now on:

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23.08.2011

On Tuesday we decided to go to school a bit earlier then normal again to prepare our lesson. This time we wanted to build mobilés with the children and we had to cut loads of plastic string in different colours, matching the painted stones that were laying out on the table already.

For us the task of making mobilés with the children had different aspects whithin the time planning the project: first it was of course something that they could make out of the sticks and stones that they had collected in their environment and that they had painted afterwards. It is supposed to offer a way of doing arts at a low price with things surrounding them in nature, that is always available even after we leave and finished the project. Our second idea about it dealt with the mobilé itself. Putting the sticks and stones in an order to balance the construction is a task that might give the children some time to focus on the things they collected and to even balance themselves in a way. We expected this to be a difficult task for them. But surprisingly they were able to build the mobilés themselves without any problems. It seemed like they had found their own balance and their own way of dealing with the task giving during the lesson. All the way through there was a silence of everyone being focussed, that was just interrupted by some requests to get more stones, sticks or the beads that we brought with us.

Each child found its own style of creating its own special mobilé. It rarely occured that three of them were doing the same thing. Each one in our group seemed to have escaped in her/his small world of colours and shapes that he/she had to put together.

When we hung up the mobilés in the Artgallery after class they were looking around proudly. When the trainee-teachers arrived after their lessons they had a sit on the benches and looked at what had been created during the afternoon. It was good to see how happy everybody was to recognise these colourful creations, that the children had made.
The mobilés were swinging quietly in the soft wind that announced the rain for the coming night. When we drove home in the Tuktuk, i could still see them moving in the wind. Maybe we should have weaved some small bells in them, i thought. It would have created a suttle song of something, that a group of children had built.

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Photos on Flickr!

We are uploading all our pictures on the following Flickr-page from now on:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/givinglifeaname

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16.08.2011

On the weekend we went together with So to the local market, Psa Leu, to buy the material that was needed for the next six weeks. When we realized that we were about to start the third week of the project, we were suprised, as it felt as if we just arrived and started it.

We bought wallpaint and brushes, pastic foil and loads of string. The market was about to close, because we went in the late afternoon. Everybody was packing their goods together and some people were sweeping rubbish, blood and left over vegetables together. The  smell was overwhelming. Unfortunately in a good way. We had to keep ourselves together to not have our stomachs turned upside down. Our bicycles were waiting outside and we drove back home and do some planning for our next lessons.

On Tuesday we brought the brushes, the paint and some cups to fill it in. We arrived an hour earlier to prepare the lesson and protect the tables with plastic foil from being painted. The sticks and stones had already been brought to the “artgallery” and we put a bunch of them on the table for the kids to chose. After having seen that we protected the classroom with plasticfoil, but not us, we decided to buy raincoats from a seller on the street in the village. It is really thin plastic held together by some rubber bands. Their are tearing really fast, but this was our only option. 1500 Riel per coat. When we gave them to the children we were already wearing ours. They grinned and took theirs with exitement. We helped them to put them on and saw them disappearing in the large amount of plastic. Eventually their heads came out the right side and they were holding their raincoats up to not step on them.

During the whole lesson the children have been in a really quiet, concentrated state that made our hearts happy as anything- because you could see how each child found its own way of painting or chosing the material, and each one was careful with it, almost respectful towards it. One boy in particular just chose to mix each colour that he painted on his stone with white, which created a fusion of pastell-colours. He was holding his brush in one hand and the stone in the other, while his mouth was open in concentration throughout the time given to paint.

We were dripping wet under our plasticcoats and we tried to compensate that we the water we brought. Even the children were saying how hot it was, but at the end of the lesson, when we saw how much paint their was on their coats we knew that it had been worth the trouble.

The result of the lesson had been beautiful. We laid all stones and sticks that had been painted on a foil in the sun and the collection of different styles and colours created the picture of the class- each one of them as an individual had chosen their way of painting, and at the end their was a colourful picture, that put them all together again.

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9.08.2011

A small path leading upwards opens up a breathtaking view over West Baray, a water reservoir that is now used as rice growing area, located west of the walled city Ankor Thom. A gaggle of 20 children with plastic bags in their hands is running towards the lake. They are collecting stones and sticks and foul-smelling mussels. We are on a walk through the environment around “First Steps School”. The collected sticks, stones and other natural material will be painted and used for making mobiles which will be hung up at school. This week we are collecting the material that is needed. With great excitement the children launch into the mud. It started to rain just when Vin, our tuktuk driver, picked us up in Siem Reap. It rained the all the way through while we were driving over muddy and partly flooded streets that was full of potholes filling up with rainwater. During the walk it was just dripping on the childrens wishes written down last week, that were now hung up along the way so everybody passing by could see them. Back in school the children washed the sticks and stones and put it into a box. Suprisingly they had collected hundreds of things, that made it necessary to use a bigger box for storage. During the walk the children could be seperated into those that were walking on their own, concentrating on finding the right things and those that were collecting while playing with their friends.It was good to see the sparkle in their eyes, when they proudly tied the knot to put up their wishes into the trees. The wishes that they had written down on plastic foil were randomly given back to them in this lesson and they were holding each others wishes in their hands. Their was no need to get your own ones back. It was a time to share this experience with each other. After cleaning the sticks and stones, we cleaned the place around the well together and we were looking at each other happily. We had found a way to be with the children outside and to still let them take their experience from the first lesson with them. This walk was a link between the first one where we discovered some of their hopes and wishes and the next one where we would start to pratically use what they had found in their environment. Their was still a bad smell in the air of the dead shells they had collected. But the wind also brought a sense of contentment about the freedom we discovered while being in nature.


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Thursday 4.08.2011

Thursday 8 – 9 pm (5-12 years)

– I wish for my mother to be healthy and for my parents to be rich.
– I want a cow and a buffalo.
– I want my family to be very happy all everyone and good health fpr my parents.
– I want my family to be happy happy and rich.
– I wish for my family to be happy and healthy.
– I like coconut and pineapple. In the future I want to be a teacher.
– I wish for my parents to be healthy.
– In the future I want to be a teacher and a doctor and I want my parents to be happy and rich.
– I want to be a doctor.
– I like apples. (12x)
– I want to be a teacher.
– I wish for my family to be happy.
– I like snakes.
– I like apples and oranges.
– I like apple and dog.
– I want to be a teacher in the future.
– I like apples and I wish for my family to be healthy.
– In the future I want to be a doctor.
– I wish for my family to be happy and healthy.
– I like butterflies. I wish for my family to be really happy and healthy.
– I want to be a tuktuk driver.
– I want to be a teacher.
– I wish my family to be healthy.
– I like pineapples and coconuts.
– I want to be a doctor.
– I want to be a khmer teacher.
– I want my family to be rich.
– I want to be a teacher.
– I wish for my family to be happy and healthy in the future.
– I like apples and umbrellas.
– I want to be a teacher and I wish for my parents living in Phnom Penh to be healthy.
– I wish for me to be a farmer an mother.

Thursday 9-10 pm (12 – 16 years)

– I want to be a doctor to help other people to be healthy. I want to marry someone I love and to be a good wife.
– I like sports and to wear pink dresses and I like grilled chicken.
– I wish for my parents to be happy and rich.
– I want to be a teacher in the future, to help the children to become good people and to help orphans to be able to study. I want to visit friends and that my parents are happy.
– I like a lot of fruits and cake.
– I like fruits, football, hide & seek, mangoes.
– I like oranges, apples, pork, chicken, duck, khmer food and to play football. I want to travel around the world.
– I wish for me to be a doctor and to earn money for my parents.
– I wish for my parents to be healthy.
– I want my parents to be healthy, lucky and rich. I want my mum to be lucky and strong forever
– In my future I want to be a doctor, because I think it is important to help people. I want to be a good girl.
– I wish for my family to be healthy and rich.
– I like oranges & apples & pork & fish & khmer fruits, blue dress and basketball.
– I like mango, coconut, banana, potato and orange.
– I want to be a doctor in the future to help children.
– I like nice fruits, durian and to go for a walk with my friends, to swim with them and I like to visit friends. Then I want to buy a blue dress and wear it when I am there.
– I like to play football, because it makes me happy.
– I wish for my family to be rich.
– I want to be a doctor to help the children
– I like cooking for my parents. I like drawing. In my future I want to get married and have 2 children.
– I want to be a teacher and doctor and I want to study english. I like to visit friends. I want to live in a western country forever. I want chicken there. I want to visit calin mountain.
– I like pineapple, sports, cooking and wearing a red dress and I like to go for a walk.
– I want to work as a massage lady. When I have a lot of money I want to help the orphans in my village.
– I want to be a teacher and help the children in my village. I like to wear an orange dress.
– I want my parents to be healthy and lucky. I want that also for me.
– I like orange, mango, to exercise with sport, go for a walk and wear a pink dress.
– I wish for my father to be healthy and strong and rich, especially my grandparents as well.
– When I grow up, I want to be a good mother. In my future I want to be a massage lady. I want to marry and have 4 children. I want to be the best in class.
– I want my parents to be rich.
– I like western food and khmer fruits.
– I want to eat more fruits.
– I want my grandmother and parents to be healthy.
– I like to study and to play football.
– I want to be a good teacher and my students to do well. I want to travel around the world. When I marry, I want to have 3 kids.
– I like apple, potato, wear a red and green dress, football and grilled chicken.
– I want to be a doctor and help the orphans and the poor people in my village. I want to go to western countrys.
– I want to help children and I want to be a good child. I like all fruits.
– I wish for my parents to be rich and lucky.
– I like pink and I wish good luck to my parents. I don’t want to be sick.
– I wish for my parents to be healthy and in the future I want them to work just a little.
– I like to do work. I like fresh fruits, yellow, apples and khmer fruits.
– I wish for my parents to be rich and lucky and I love my parents every year, every time.
– I want to be a carpenter and I want a chicken, a pig and a cow. I want to find money to help my family.
– I wish for my parents to be healthy and I want to be a doctor and a teacher.
– I want to be married and I would like to have a lot of children.
– I like orange juice, banana and I want to dress in white.
– I like to eat khmer food and I want to visit Phnom Penh.
– I want to be a doctor and in the future I want to earn a lot of money.
– I want a lot of oranges. I want to play football and I want to be a teacher in the future.
– I want to be a teacher and I want to visit countries around the world and have a lot of students. When I am married I want to have 4 children.
– I like orange and mango. I like the colours orange and pink and I like cooking. I want to visit Angkor Wat.
– I want to eat pizza. I like apples, watermelons, and fried chicken. I want do dress in green. I want to visit countries around the world and I want to visit Phnom Penh.
– I want to be a doctor and a want to visit Baray and western countries.
– I wish for me to have a happy time, good aid at learning and a smart study.
– I wish for my parents to be healthy and happy.
– I like apples and eating khmer food and I want to play football. I want to be a teacher and doctor.
– I want to be a farmer and have a lot of money, become a strong person and have a good job.
– I want to study a lot.
– I want to be a doctor in the future, because I want to help the people when they are sick and I want to be rich. And I want a hospital in my village.
– I wish for my parents to be really happy and to be rich.
– I want a big cake and a car and a happy time.

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Tuesday 2.08.2011

Tuesday, 2pm – 3 pm (5 – 12 years old)

I wish for:

-a house
-flowers
-fish
-a house
-an elephant and a horse
-an elephant and a horse
-a butterfly and flowers
-a cow and a monkey
-pencils
-cars
-flowers
-apples
-tables
-a butterfly
-a butterfly
-flowers and good health for my father and mother
-apples
-flowers
-having the chance to paint
-apples
-a rubber and a necklace and a bracelet and a anklet
-umbrellas
-apples
-flowers, a car, a cow and a horse
-apples

Tuesday, 3pm-4pm (12-16 years old)

I wish for:

-a bicycle to go to school.
-a bicycle to go to study and for my livingsituation to be good.
-my parents to love me and for my father to be healthy.
-my parents to be healthy forever.
-a bicycle.
-a car.
-a plane.
-a car.
-a plane.
-a car.
-books, pencils, and for my parents to be healthy every day.
-motorbike and bicycle to go to study and for my family to be healthy.Mehr anzeigen
-a bicycle and for my family to be healthy.
-my parents to be healthy and love me very much.
-a motorbike.
-my parents to love me and for my father to be healthy.
-books and a bicycle.
-a motorbike.
-my parents to be healthy.
-my parents to be healthy.
-books for my studies.
-books and pens for my studies.
-a bicycle to go to school.
-a bicycle to go to my studies.
-my parents to be healthy.
-my mother to be healthy.
-me to be a teacher.
-a bicycle to go to study.
-my parents to like me and my father to be healthy.
-my parents to be healthy forever.
-books to go to study.
-books to go to study and for my parents to be healthy.
-my parents to love me very much and books.
-my parents to be healthy forever.
-a bicycle to go to study.

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Arrival

I hadn’t slept properly the night before I was supposed to fly out. Almost walking with my eyes closed I found a seat in the train next to a chinese man that smelled of alcohol. Hello Asia, I am just about to leave. Children were running around my backpack and jumping over it. I fell asleep.
When I woke up, I saw that the train had already arrived, so i grabed my bag and shook my body to give it a small wake-up-call. Running to the next platform a bunch of thoughts crossed my mind, that made me walk and stare at people around me. When home becomes foreign and you start staring, you know, that it is time to leave. You know, that a different place is calling you. An old man bumped into me, mumbled something unnecessary and looked angrily at me. Goodbye Germany, i will send you some postcards.
Arriving at the airport i was breathing in deeply. The mixture of precipitance, excitement and sweat reminded me of other nights i had spend in these places of departure to new lifes and hopes. Sleepy chidren were crawled up on their parents laps and stewardess were running on highheels to catch their flight. I am wondering how these beautiful ladies will be able save us in case of an accident, when their dresses are too tight to even walk properly and their shoes are high enough to give them a hight of 1,80 m.

My first plane departed and I managed to fall sleep while a bollywood princess seduced her prince on the screen next to mine. Passengers seem to become a uniformed army, that is performing the same moves and listens to the voice in their speakers telling them their next task they need to fulfill.
My screen told me, that we just passed Baghdad. An old man took out a tissue, a small, round stone and a small book. After looking at our planes coordinates on the screen he turned the tissue and started mumbling. He lifted his arms and bowed down. He was praying. Good night, Allah.

After 30 hours of travelling I arrived in Singapore. Coming out of the MRT I smelled Asia. I took a moment to sit down and become aware of me arriving. I asked an old man for directions who offered to walk me half way to my hostel. Singapore was empty, just some cars crossed the junction and were beating the horn at each other. The malay man invited me to come home for dinner with him- at 11.30 pm. I refused and said my goodbyes. Arriving at the hostel, I fell into my bed and was more then ready to sleep. Two korean girls were giggling at their pink phones and another girl entered the room in leather boots and a short jeansskirt. A deep sleep took my smiling thoughts away.

Flying out from Singapore to Siem Reap, we almost missed the last call before the gate closed. A chubby singaporean securitylady grinned at the queue and joked us through the scanning. 10 Minutes till departure. Sitting in Jetstars cold leather seats I wished for a comfortable bed. And hot chocolate. Everything could be so easy.
The next thing I remember, is the captains announcement for our arrival in Siem Reap. I took a look out of the window and I saw, that the landscape had changed since the last time I flew into Cambodia. The colours were different and there seemed to be less trees then last time. But when we came closer, I realised, that it was not nature itself that had changed, but massive floodings that were covering it with brown water. We looked at each other. Let’s just pretend we have not seen it. Everything will be fine.
Siem Reaps airport is one small, almost traditional building, that could probaly not handle more than the passengers of one flight.
Filling out the visaforms we realized that we had forgot to bring any pens with us which made us the last people to queue up for payment and the visaapproval. Twelve officials were sitting in a row to check, stamp and copy each passport. The small Khmer men carefully adn sceptically gave the passports to each other and called our names to pick them up at the end of the row.
Nothing to declare. And there were Sarah, Den, Rachel, So and Sa to welcome us. We arrived.

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