Uri Plays Teacher in Cambodia

As I said in my last post, I returned to Cambodia to catch up with my friend Vy, who I met on my first trip to the country. Sadly, Kosorl, the guy who introduced us, was travelling for work, so it wasn’t a complete reunion. That just means I’ll have to make another trip to Siem Reap one day.
Vy lives and teaches in the village of Tatoukandal. This is where Kosorl grew up as well. In fact, this is Kosorl’s parents’ house. This is where I stayed for three nights.
The living room.
This little cutie and I quickly became friends. She also quickly became fascinated with cell phone camera technology. 
Me and my new buddy.
Her first selfie.
This is her brother. Their father is currently working in Thailand, so Kosorl’s mother and father are taking care of them.
The front entrance.


This little guy was very friendly and loved to all the petting attention I gave him, but he was rather camera shy. There was also an adorable little kitten, though I didn’t manage to get any pictures of him because he seemed to hide during much of the day. On my way back from the washroom during my first night, this little orange and white kitten followed me into my room and jumped into bed with me. He cuddled up right next to me, placing his head right against my chest as I lay on my side. I draped the blanket and my arm over him, and we slept soundly. I was in Heaven.
This guy never shut up. And he makes the most obnoxious sounds, like somebody is killing him.


This guy LOVED the camera.
See what I mean?! He’s WORKIN’ IT!
Kosorl had a school built in his parents’ backyard so underprivileged children could receive an education.
The motorbike belongs to Vy. Though one fifteen year old student rode her motorbike to school. I also saw what I’m pretty sure was a 12 year old riding a motorbike with his buddy. He could’ve even been 10 for all I know.
This is the first of three classes Vy teaches English to everyday. There are about 60 of them, all varying in age and range. I really admired their love of learning, their boldness and ability to take risks in class, and their fun spirit. We played loads of games, had lots of laughs, and probably made a little bit too much noise, but it was loads of fun. Class runs from 1 – 3 pm.
Teaching these kids was a breath of fresh air after my two hellish years in Abu Dhabi. It also got me really excited to get back to teaching back in Canada in a couple months. Kids truly do have a magical charm to them. Even before leaving for Abu Dhabi, I’d always wake up in the morning with zero energy and zero desire to go to work. I’d just want to stay in bed all day. Then I’d arrive at work, and the children would lift my spirits in an instant. It’s like every morning, they managed to flick on the switch to my heart so I could start my day. These kids reminded me of that feeling.
Second class was half the size of the first one, but just as fun and just as bright. Class went from 3 – 5 pm.


I forgot to get a picture of the third class, but this is what they see when they look outside as the sun starts to set. Third class runs from 5:00 – 6:30 pm. Then what does Vy do for fun? He goes home and studies and reads until it’s time to go to bed.


The ride to Vy’s house.


His parents grow and sell rice and cucumbers.
Kosorl’s brother works as a tour guide/taxi driver with his tuk tuk. He was my chauffeur while I was in Siem Reap. He picked me up at the airport, drove me out to Tatoukandal, as well as back to the city, and back to the airport. The guy is always laughing and smiling. I love his positive energy. We spent one night at his parents’ house sitting around the table laughing the night away. I think my favourite story was about when he was first learning English and trying to make a living as a tour guide. Because his English was so limited, he couldn’t count past ten, so when tourists would ask him how much he charged, all he knew how to say was 10, even though he wanted to charge 15. His solution was to say “Five, ten,” which tourists would then confuse for $50. Needless to say, his English has gotten a million times better.

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