RV UG OCIP Cambodia 2012

Shall sum everything up in one post so that it’s easier to read next time- compared to my New Zealand post in 12 parts or something LOL 😀 Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Day 1

Taken at Changi Airport with all our parents staring at us LOL

Omg the plane ride is horrible it’s turning our stomach in circles. OMG SEATBELT ALERT FINALLY OFF I ALMOST DIED.

Finally arrived. Our schedule delayed like crazy, originally supposed to arrive at 1125h but we only exited the airport at 1330h -_- and there was Wi-Fi!!! Amazing or what, New Zealand airport didn’t even have Wi-Fi LOL.

And when we were landing on the runway Jiawen was like “OMG OMG WHERE IS THIS WHY ARE WE LANDING IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE”. Culture shock of airport ftw LOL.

On the roads now… The schools generally look quite big and pretty, but the streets are really quite poorly maintained. It feels like Bali all over again. Another 30 minute journey to the school, roads aren’t very nicely pathed here and shops are all over the streets. Pretty much messy settlement…?

Just stopped at a local shopping centre to shop 😀 given 33 minutes, even less than ICEP TW omg. But there were very few pretty clothes around- so we only bought like fake Converse shoes… (USD 15 quite cheap hahaha) and yogurt? 😀

The yogurt costs like USD 1.55 with mango toppings. Damn cheap and awesome 😀

Hehehe when it wasn’t hot. Yet.

Running around the shopping mall to find stuff. How familiar LOL. Oh and just like ICEP TW, Jieling and I bought something weird too hehehe.

Okay the guy is talking I shouldn’t be typing on my phone hehe 🙂

Omg it is damn hot, Mr Low commented that I look like 人间蒸发, and other people calling me a waterfall. Got off the bus and perspired like crap right away, it’s… burning omg I hope it’s the jeans. If not, I’m going to die for the next few days.

When we exited the aircraft, it was 26degrees. Nope I’d prefer to think it’s 36degrees. Suddenly Singapore seems really cool.

It’s 7pm here in Cambodia (8pm in Singapore) and the sun has set!

Reached the island by boat and we had to lug the luggages up one by one omg. Super tiring haha the stairs are real steep. There’s no clean water here so we are relying on potable water brought over from the mainland, and we have water parades every now and then to ensure that we don’t get dehydrated heh.

The boat ride to Rumdual Island 🙂

The Cambodian children had this flag lowering ceremony (similar to that in Singapore). At 4pm they will ring a bell and all the children will start shutting the windows hahaha 🙂 cause school ends then. They will line up in two lines, some leader will lower the flag and they will all sing a song together- should be the national anthem?

It’s so cool hahaha. I wonder how long it has been since I sang the national anthem.

Drank so much water but don’t have any urge for the toilet, probably because I’m very very dehydrated -_-

Took a tour around the island today led by Mr Huang. He seems really experienced, probably because he’s been here about 4 times. Asked a lot of questions cause super curious about the villagers haha. I think their poverty trap is super sad, and the stereotype of people on the island. Should be really glad to be living in Singapore.

That’s part of the island I guess, and a bit of the killing fields? 1 of the 129 in Cambodia. Sigh.

Can’t wait for the skit and the English lessons with the kids tomorrow 🙂 hope everything will go smoothly!

The sanitation facilities are quite hmm here… Bathed with a frog in the pool of water I was using LOL. Need to scoop up water, spray your body, cycle repeat. And the water is limited… Wow. AND THE FROG KEPT JUMPING AROUNDDD. Water is yellowish-gray…?

This toilet is cleaner compared to the one I used, but the main point is the bucket and the gray water anyway :/

But it’s okay, it’s a whole new experience, it’s an experience I’ll never get again! 🙂

Didn’t bathe hair cause too lazy hahaha, used Jieling’s dry shampoo 😛 3 more nights here!!! Jiayou HAHAHA. Gonna be doing reflections and retiring for the night already. 54% of battery left, shall not waste! Shall use tomorrow 🙂 no electricity sigh.

Day 2

The sun is up! Slept from 10.30pm to 6am. Buttt not a very pleasant sleeping experience- woke up several times in the night to hear the rooster cry, weird alarms, and because of my stomach ache.

I swear I hate getting a stomach ache at random times here 😦

It feels like BSC/March Camp all over again- (or even worse) cannot bathe (can but water is yellowish-gray), sleeping on the floor with sleeping bags. My back aches like crazy now 😦 but thank god I managed to sleep all night whileas some couldn’t sleep at all.

Mosquito-infested floor. Being brave by sleeping on the outer side omg. 3 more nights here. Omg. Sorry but I seriously don’t know how I’m going to survive. Really pay $800 to experience the extremes of life gosh. It’s okay jiayou, we’re heading to the mainland soon!

That’s just SOME of the mosquitoes we had 😀

And well done a rat just ran pass the room… That we are sleeping on.

Taking a tour around the whole island, visiting the widows colonies and the farm animals… Infrastructure of village houses and manually-operated wells.

Some of the villagers who are pretty well-off had houses that are fully-sponsored, by Singapore team, American etc LOL. Those are truly the more privileged people, but I guess they will never be as privileged as us.

One example of a house.

Some villagers were selling us friendship bands, and all the widows started approaching near cause they wanted business from us. It’s like we’re their only source of income…?

I can’t imagine living here- the children really do nothing and just rot at home omg. I asked Jieling if she would rather mug or stay in these conditions.

“Mug duh, at least I’m doing something.”

Okay I shall learn to appreciate textbooks! 🙂

Village tour ended, can’t believe it’s only been 3 hours into our day. Woah I really quite tired already 😦 3 more nights…

I have stomach ache and a bit of headache already. Ugh why is my immune system so weak?

Sian I think I’m going to fall sick very soon -_- really don’t like my body, booo.

The kids are so cute and appreciative 🙂 so different from Singaporean children. They have such a simple pursuit of happiness.

Oh my god I can’t believe I’ve been playing with little kids for the past 3.5hours! Shagged like crazy, my soles are aching like mad, as if I’ve done 4 hours of profi omg. Running around carrying children, piggybacking, colouring, trying to fight the communication barrier… playing their childhood games (skipping) and helping them sweep up their classrooms.

I SMELL LIKE A CAMBODIAN KID NOW HAHAHA. They were pouncing all over me omg, as if I’m on high demand. Holding my hands then whacking others when others are coming close to me..?!?! LOL. I feel so wanted hahahaha

Piggybacking a child 🙂

But some are really quite naughty, bringing the crayons home LOL 😦 I’m so tired hahaha, it’s 2pm now, the afternoon session kids’ lessons end at 4pm, and that will be another batch of playing with kids. 3 more days of these mischievous children hahaha :Ð

Endure all their weight~~ jiayou Huiping!

Just slept for 1 hour HAHAHA SUPER COMFORTABLE, put random object on luggage and sleep 😛 but the rest are missing and Jiawei is nowhere to be found hehehe.

I deserved it for pia-ing the whole of the 1st batch TT. But I hope I won’t regret being useless in this period of time.

The colouring lessons didn’t occur after 4pm- the kids left promptly home for most of their days end at 4.30pm (and daylight ends at 7pm).

Hence we did nothing (including the English lessons- all scraped and started bathing from 4pm onwards, finally access to water the first! (NCC Girls were the first today!) 😀 bathed with a frog in the hole and zzz I am so suay SERIOUSLY IT’S ONLY THE 2ND DAY.

We slacked for a while and had dinner wheee. Will have an hour of reflections again later, but what motivates me is… 2 more days and we’ll be over with all these! 😀 it feels better tonight, probably because we are getting used to it hmm. Or maybe because we used the cleaner toilets today 😀

Today was rather insightful… Was really sleepy at around 10am after the island tour but had to keep awake to “attract the children”. Most of the kids knew how to say things like “I’m 10 years old” “I’m 9 years old” but other than that there was quite a bad communication barrier. When they were asking me things about the colouring pages I just ???

The first time we gathered them in one class, there were unexpectedly so many people that we had to move them to a larger class. Then we left our snacks and goodies in the small classroom, which was ransacked by some of the children, stealing sweets and biscuits. Thank god they returned it and nothing went missing. Some of the children offered me sweets but I felt too bad to take them (of course la!), so I gave them to another child and then they started becoming angry with each other ;-( should have just eaten it.

Squeezing them in one class for the colouring activity LOL.

And they don’t have a cool childhood like us- filled with cartoon and everything. Spongebob and Patrick is yellow and peach respectively, but they were giving weird colours like orange and blue to the pictures. It’s like they never ever get a chance to catch all these things. Cartoon and everything is “heavily advertised” to us since young lor.

But they have cool childhood games! They grabbed some random rope and used it as a skipping rope, and they were having lots of fun. It’s like kampong-themed haha. Simple pursuit of happiness, just spending time and having fun with others. How wonderful.

Not kidding when I meant random rope.

Day 3

Omg it’s 11am and I just had fun playing Shoot Shag Marry with my platoonmates in our room hahaha.

Played with children this morning- Games comm were in charge so we were playing Elope, Captains’ Ball, and various games with all the little children- from kindergarten to higher grades haha. And playing random ball games with random little children that didn’t join in.

Today I’m a little less sociable because I’m really tired, and I’m still damn sad from this morning 😦 must be more sociable and interact with the children more because I know I’m going to regret after I leave this place.

9 hours of sleep this morning was awesome. Yesterday’s reflections led Mr Huang into thinking that we were damn brave and poor thing so he opened new beds for us, and opened mosquito nets hehe. It was damn warm last night but extremely comfortable, slept through the whole night until my annoying fire siren alarm started ringing LOL

And I got a few sandfly bites 😦 ultra annoying. Gonna scar like mad again.

We were taking the classes for English lessons which sort of flopped because they were too young to understand- hence it ended up as a 1-hour singing session instead. And the children were really loud, heh.

Went farming afterwards. Pulling out the weeds, digging a hole, cutting the dragonfruit plant, filling the soil and watering the crops. Quite cool 😀

Our group! I think Wai Yuin should grow up to be a farmer because he looks like one HAHAHA.

There’s this villager who’s quite old, and his 4 digs were equivalent to our 20 digs or something -_- he just piak into the soil and poooom a whole load of soil comes up. Wah super zibei.

Tried to dig and then within a few ploughs my arms were tired from the continuous movement LOL seriously weak like mad. I wonder whether I will ever want to be a farmer if I grew up in such living conditions. It’s either I be a farmer or do nothing as a housewife, what will I choose?

The dragonfruit crop that we planted!

The job’s really dirty anyway, the fine soil gets stuck onto you damn easily. On your knees, especially when you perspire, it’ll never leave your skin. So my handphone ended up with soil too 😦 and my track pants were totally soiled. AND OF COURSE MY SHOES. I swear buying the USD15 shoes on Day 1 was the best decision I ever made hehee.

I got myself full of soil LOL.

Saw the little children going home by themselves on the fields. At the age of 5 or 6 or younger they are already so independent… I should really feel lousy and glad at the same time -_- I remember the first time I went out alone was only in Primary 5, and Singapore is so much safer as compared to Cambodia, really. I should really be thankful for Singapore oh my goodness.

Went back to rest, NCC Girls last to bathe today 😦 had dinner and Delta girls were the only ones with hair tied up and DRYYY, because we were the only ones who haven’t bathed 😦 omg this makes me miss NZ booo hahaa only 6 + 2 girls (teachers) to snatch toilet from 😦 and the shower tap doesn’t stop, toilet flush works. LOL 😀

Okay la cannot compare, Mr Huang calls this an authentic Cambodian experience 😀 it’s like we’re suffering here but we’re really going through the Cambodian way of life and really going through how and what their lives are.

Yixin said “I used to say I want to volunteer in Africa, but Cambodia already like that, how about Africa”

So true haha, the life expectancy here is about 40 years due to their hygiene and everything, and going through a few days here is already making me very tired (apart from the fact that I get full 8 hours of sleep everyday if I’m not tempted to talk). I can’t imagine how the Cambodians live their life here, every single day.

School for them ain’t all that fun actually, but apparently their childhood is the best part of their life already. They get married at ages like 17 (which means ME NEXT YEAR), get pregnant the very same year and start to have many many children. It’s not young, as said by Mr Huang, considering that it’s already half their lives when they past their teenage years. It’s inevitable in such communities in the countryside, but also because they do not have the awareness for all these. Follow the crowd and everything… And they have nothing to do besides starting up a family anyway.

They just can hope that their children do well enough to earn a local scholarship (subsidy of 20 USD per month?) to sponsor their boat rides to the mainland and universities out of this island. If they cannot afford it and they have no ways of generating income, they can really give up on exiting their poverty trap. Really harsh reality here.

I am so privileged to be born in Singapore. I will seriously quit complaining about how unprivileged/stressful/whatever I am. Must be satisfied with what I have, really! They derive happiness from such simple things like our visits, but yet we demand for so much and are continually unhappy.

…and sorry, but HOW CAN PEOPLE BE ANGRY WITH THE PAP!!! Calling them horrible government etc. Sorry lor, I really idolise them after this trip. To build Singapore to this stage and develop it into a first-world country from swamps and slums. AND BEING A CORRUPTION-FREE GOVERNMENT (I think). Wow. I love Singapore. I’LL NEVER MOVE AWAY!

Hai okay, we had the choice of moving to the hotel tomorrow evening but we chose to stay because we wanted more time with the children 🙂 it’s their public school holiday but they don’t mind coming back anyway! What a lovable bunch of people. News spread like wildfire in the village, they just pass the message to one another and everyone will get it sooner or later. Super pro!

It’s pretty tough here but I can survive, especially when bathing and sleeping conditions have improved so much 😀 no more insects to accompany your sleep and no more frogs to accompany your bath!

Heavily bitten all over it’s quite horrible. Itching so much I spray 3 layers of Off mosquito repellent every single time LOL. It curbs the itch and repels mosquitoes at the same time, so I’ll just spam cause I’m not sacrificing my blood and skin! 😦

Waiting for my turn to bathe boo. Yixin’s 1st, Jiawei’s 2nd, Jiawen’s 3rd, I’m 4th, Jieling 5th and Chenxi 6th. All to a game of scissors paper stone hahaha.

Sat-chruk (?) = pig in Cambodian! HAHAA EVERYONE AROUND ME ARE SAT-CHRUKS~

Okay I blogged a lot about how fortunate I am today, shall continue waiting for the toilet and get ready for night reflections before turning in for the night 🙂 yay!

Omg I’m still waiting for my turn but the lights are flickering and the fans are starting to slow down. I think electricity from the generator is going to run out soon omg, does this mean I’m going to bathe with no light? Wait this is ultra scary omg.

Yay I survived the bath, with yet another frog haha. We have more or less adapted to the living conditions here, at first we were like “let’s wear skirt and covered shoes cause very weird” but now we totally don’t give a damn anymore LOL. Wearing PE shorts and slippers everywhere like a boss hehehe. “This is an island” as said by Jieling LOL, no one really cares about your dressing. You just need pants that’s all, not considered obscene at all LOL.

Reflections now 🙂

The daily reflections at night with Mr Huang~

Day 4

ILast night reflections was quite nice, it was a little lengthy but we found out a lot of things- like how Kiankiat lives like a Cambodian and Wai Yuin’s half-indonesian (?!). And also the same things again, day by day we really learn to appreciate our country more and more. Being born in Singapore is already a blessing to begin with.

This morning Jiawei and I were down for village RRA (rapid rural appraisal) and it’s truly… an insight. We were down to the village for two hours and we truly learnt a lot about them, we only interviewed two houses in 2 hours, which really showed how extensive our questions were.

They would clean the platform nicely for us to be comfortable 🙂

We learnt a lot about their income, occupation, jobs and everything. For some of them, their income is like USD 1.10 a day and THAT IS CONSIDERED SUPER RICH IN THE VILLAGE. I mean, you compare to what is being earned in Singapore… Some fortunate families grow mango trees in their home and they sell 1kg of mangoes for USD 0.25 (?! And it’s fresh from the tree!) Nat the translator was damn nice, he bought 2kg and the family opened two mangoes for us. With salt and sugar. Damn delicious 😀 the seasoning goes really well. Really cheap and fresh mangoes, gosh.

Fresh from the tree with seasoning!

For some villagers, their only source of income are friendship bands- and that’s only when they get visitors like us. And even then, it’s priced so cheaply they barely make any profit. When their children get married, they have to make enough to support their own families, and hence the old parents just suffer at home 😦 it’s really sad!!!

We talked about installing light and everything but actually that’s not the most important to them. It’s important but NOT their priority. What they really need is food and water- and sometimes they go hungry for a few days because they have no money to buy food. Some of them are ill from birth complications and are unable to move around- hence unable to farm and nobody can help them after their children are all married. All of them look really malnutritioned and really skinny. Basically, you can’t find any fat people here.

But yet they do not complain about life as much as us. 😦 it really disgusts me now that I complain about mugging all the time, but like what Jieling said, I’ll probably do the same a few months down the road. But something good about living here is probably I get full 8 hours of sleep every day. Even though I’m a little tired and sleepy from the activities, it’s still much better than the hectic life in Singapore -_-

But it’s okay, I still think I’m really privileged to be staying in Singapore.

A malnutritioned skinny cow 😦

Just had 1.5hours of preparation for our campfire performance. We decided that since most of the FSD team is here, we shall do FSD, at the same time teaching Yixin and Yuteng the NCCDP performances. Hehe now it’s become a blessing- and at the same time it is bringing back a lot of memories too 😦

Perspiring like a mad cow now, it feels like FSD training in hot weather again hehee.

There’s a 12-year-old kid beside Jiawei who’s asking us to buy friendship bands from her 😦 but unfortunately we really can’t because it might just create some rife in the village if we only give profit to one person 😦

So we’ll just buy tomorrow! I’ve already placed an order for 100 friendship bands LOL totally ordering in bulk. Some are 10 for USD2 while the bigger ones are 2 for USD1. Either way they’re still really cheap and at the same time, we can generate income for these villagers and act as a source for the village to “pump in” more money to be circulating around in the village. So buying is quite a good thing actually 🙂 20 normal ones, 70 small hearts and 10 big hearts (the more expensive ones).

I know we’re helping so well yeah! 🙂 waiting for the day to end when the 2nd group of RRA people come back.

Bathed at 4pm hehe what a blessing! But we cannot play with the children anymore 😦 the wall painted is so pretty oh my 🙂

But I took a picture with Carlsberg all the same hehehe.

It’s 6pm now and the rain is falling down really really heavily! Sophia told us to be very careful because this rain is quite poisonous which will make us ill- firstly it smells weird and it’s the first rain in a long time during the dry season. Cambodia is typically dry and for such a heavy rain it is considered a very big blessing 🙂

It’s really heavy omg it’s spraying me like crazy, everyone on the upstairs are panicking like crazy because their luggages are mostly exposed to the rain.

I hope the villagers are happy! They told us that the villagers are more than happy because it’s been a long long time since it rained hehe 🙂

I hope the rain stops soon for us to continue with our activities- but hopefully the villagers get enough water, our dragonfruit plants planted yesterday/today get enough water, and may this rain be beneficial and a blessing to the entire village! 🙂

And of course, it feels really cold! It’s been a long time since we experienced Singapore weather LOL we’ve been burning for the past few days 🙂 it’s a great weather heh, I automatically stopped perspiring 🙂

The heavy rain- made the surrounding buildings look really blurred.

Just prepared for the campfire and the fire is up and really beautiful 🙂 have prepared a speech to share with everybody yay.

Day 5

Yesterday campfire was pretty awesome- it was sort of a sharing session when everyone started reflecting because it was the last night on the island.

Prepared a cool speech which potentially mocked many people so I can’t share it of course heh. But sitting around the fire in a 39-strong group felt pretty nice, it brought back the atmosphere I haven’t had in a long time. The warmth from the fire and the cool wind around us. To conclude the island stay that way is simply amazing 🙂

Oh and not to mention we were sitting on logs on SAND! Heh. What a cool way of seating, Mr Huang and the 7 guys on the trip went to chop trees for us 🙂 just for this wonderful experience. Thank you so much!

With our hair down looking like rubbish because we just bathed and our hair was wet LOL.

The campfire set up by Mr Huang and the guys!

The sharing session did bring back a lot of memories. Like I said to everyone else… the children are the people I will remember the most. The villagers, smiling at us with gratitude… The teachers who are never annoyed with us despite us obviously disrupting their lessons. They literally welcomed us with open arms.

This morning, we packed up the place, kept the mosquito nets and mattresses, and got ready to go. The kids upon sighting the luggage were all really sad, but probably because they have gotten used to volunteers leaving after a short period of time, took it in their stride. Some of us seemed aloof but I’m sure we were quite emotionally attached to the place as well.

I did not interact much with the villagers but they smiled at us happily, some giving us hugs when we left. Some gave us blessings, some tried to use English to greet us 🙂

The final goodbye was heartwrencheng. The children kept on running up to us for a final hi5, for a final hug, a final piggyback, jumped on our boats during departure. This is the love they bring out from the bottom of their hearts, it’s really incomparable to what some people call “love” in Singapore. The superficial type? The type that is used for merely sweettalk? Nope, I don’t buy that.

The children were all running up to us sadly 😦

4-5 days at Rumdual Island truly taught me a lot, I thought a lot on the island, I discovered new things about myself, and I did things that I would never have dared to do before. To me, this is an amazing experience, an experience that I will never ever experience elsewhere. I’m very very, or more than glad, to have gone on this OCIP 🙂 and I hope I will stop complaining about my “horrible” life back in Singapore.

The autograph book we wrote on for the people there- which IMO is really pretty compared to the rest of the pages on the book LOL.

On the bus ride now to Hello! American school, probably to see how they conduct English lessons- and like what Ms Wing said, to let us appreciate our Language Arts teachers more 😛

Okay the Hello! American school standard is quite weird :/ how can the opposite of clever be crazy..? But it’s one of the best schools in the region already so I guess that’s the best English education that the children can receive.

Oh well.

The children are pretty strict though but the teaching methods are very traditional, holding a stick to threat students who do not bring their textbooks and everything. So scary omg but I think in our presence they tried to be slightly nicer to leave a good impression hehe.

They had this information board displaying all their results, whether they do their homework, and their grades omg. That’s damn scary, I can’t imagine having my result and rank in the class displayed to everyone -_- quite embarrassing but then again, it’s sort of a tuition class (classes go on all day for various educational levels) and if they don’t put in effort, might as well don’t attend English classes :/

Blurred image because I was walking as I took it.

Went to the orphanage from 3-5pm and #teamjiawei was high in demand hahaha. This guy kept holding her hands and dragging her around LOL SUCH LOVE HUH JIAWEI 🙂

Visited the Girls’ and Boys’ dormitories which aren’t very well-maintained but still a decent sleeping condition for the people studying there. People at the orphanage aren’t necessary orphans, some of them are just children of rich government officials. If you ask me, I have no idea why it’s called an orphanage either.

Looked through funny screenshots then headed to the restaurant for dinner- WHERE WE FRICKINGLY HAD WI-FI. Omg after the 4 days at the village, it was like CIVILISATION!!! WI-FI!!! FACEBOOK! OMG TOO LAG CAN’T CHECK TWITTER! Damn funny LOL

Honestly, the food was damn good hehe

Went to the supermarket afterwards and we bought yogurt again 😀 one cup for USD $1! So freaking cheap hehehe and so shiok, ate like a boss, then everyone started buying cause it’s so cheap and there are so many flavours 😀 I wanted blueberry as well but then I preferred yogurt and I didn’t want to look like a pig! 😦

Walking along the streets to the supermarket 🙂

All of us having ice-cream HAHAHA.

Bought some chips and junk food for the hotel stay- finally headed to the hotel where there was wi-fi instantly!!! Conditions aren’t very amazing but it is still definitely thousands of times better than the conditions at the village, and so far, I’m enjoying my whole stay here 🙂

Time for reflections! Shuang, everyone’s reflections are held in non air-con environment but we’re having it in Mr Huang’s room with aircon 😀

Day 6

Reflections were held but it was mostly talking about whether we were adversely affected by leaving the village and the standard of English lessons in our country. Okay, evidently, the teachers in Singapore are very decent 🙂

Picked up the friendship bands that NCC ordered and we almost died. What’s with 200+ bands, 415 hearts and 50 big hearts, we almost died counting them one by one, even Mr Low had to help us hehehe. Yong Hwee as well. Finally collected my friendship bands, total 100 of them for USD 23, so cheap and yet we’re helping the village to profit!

The total that everyone bought LOL. DAMN PRO IT FORMED A MOUNTAIN.

My own loot 😛

Ate junk food then slept after a while 😛 rooming with Jieling and she was reading a book all night 😦 stupid muggerrr

Woke up early to Qinping’s morning call “hello, this is a morning call from room 706, when you get off from bed, beware of pythons” (?! Inside joke LOL) but is damn funny hahaha at first damn groggy and sleepy but after I heard that I totally chuckled and woke up to prepare~

Today’s a touristy day! We’d be visiting lots of museums and everything with little amount of sleep 😦 not because we were playing last night or anything but more like… Still not enough sleep?

Went to the Choueng Ek Genocidal Museum, the killing and burial site of all the victims of the Pol Pot Regime. There was a stupa of skulls in the museum… And it was a killing field for 8985 corpses, 129 mass graves. Most of which contained over hundreds of corpses. 😦

The skulls :/ I’m not going to elaborate much on this…

When we were walking on the soil, some jaws and teeth could be seen jerking out from the soil, cause the rain washes the soil away and unearths all the bodies and clothes underneath. Sigh, really was quite disturbing and heartbreaking to listen to the tour guide. It’s just unbelievable that Cambodia only found peace about 10 years ago.

The teeth sticking out from the soil ugh.

Smashing the heads of babies against trees, killing them mercilessly… how can humans even be like that?

Went to the museum and read all the information boards put up… About people in the Pol Pot Regime. How horrible 😦 I hope heaven punishes them one day!

Going to the Tuol Seng (Genocide Museum) place that Jiawei and I were resaearching about now. Gonna be really sick when I enter, let’s hope I survive the trip and not puke out my whole breakfast or something :/

On the bus now, just deleted like 103 photos of notes and Math questions on my phone -_- and some nice screenshots. Wouldn’t want to, but I’m running out of space for pictures to be taken 😦 should have cleared my pictures before coming, sigh. Now I’m left with 300+ and I can’t bear to delete anymore of them -_-

Just visited the Tuol Sleng / S21 prison. Goodness me, felt really sick visiting the single cells and looking through the paintings. The seven survivors of the Khmer Rouge were really lucky- 3 of their biographies were written and they survived only because they were talented- either at painting or mechanics. Luck’s really important in everything, sigh.

Once again, am really glad to be born in Singapore. Those people thought they were going to have a new lease of life when the Pol Pot regime took over- but it was all full of nonsense of course. It made life even more difficult than before, the Cambodians just suffered more and more. What a disaster, really.

The torturing and killings are even more heartless than that of the Japanese Occupation :/ seriously, how can humans be so inhumane?

The paintings and everything just make me feel more and more sick -_-

Not going to post anymore pictures of the museum because it’s going to make me feel really sick.

Went for buffet lunch after that. Really weird because we went for such a wide spread after the disgusting museum -_- but nevertheless we just spammed food heh. Took a little of each and took more of our likings on our 2nd serving. Skirt got tighter and tighter- again LOL. Should never wear school skirt to a buffet I swear!

Delta girls who went on the trip!

There’s this disgusting spring roll that everyone +o( after the first bite. Jiawen, Chenxi, Qinping, Yonghwee, LOL. They made me so glad I didn’t go and “try out something new” HAHAHA.

The Cambodian fish soup was pretty unique but most people didn’t dare to drink because it looked pretty dubious- yellow…liquid? Doesn’t look very delicious, heh.

My first serving!

5minute drive to the Russian market afterwards! Where we just whacked purchases LOL. I would say we got a little scammed (Jiawen Yixin and their wallets hahaha) but it’s just a few dollars hehee. One shirt USD $1.70 or something, cheap like siao LOL I’m loving it! Then wallets for like $2 each? 🙂 and they’re quite pretty! And I bought another pair of shoes for $10 hahaha oops.

Camwhoring with every chance when we were outside because I was afraid people would snatch my phone when I’m inside LOL.

Okay I splurged like a queen, bargained for fun, LIKE WHO ON EARTH WILL BUY CHOPSTICKS HAHAHA. But I bought some things cause I wanted to get rid of my riel currency/i just wanted to bargain for fun 😀 the sense of accomplishment after successful negotiation is so awesome 😛

Going for a cruise ride now! Truly touristy day today 🙂 then it’s back to service learning and serving the Cambodian children at the orphanage!

Outside the place we went on board the boat!

Where the boats are 😀

Wah the cruise ride damn awesome hahaa 😀 we were damn high then screaming songs and gossiping like mad. Camwhored like mad and imitated the Titanic scene LOL and HAHAHA JIELING + JIAWEI GOT OWNED!!! Damn funny! Omg they were standing there looking stupid while the rest of us ran away hahaha

Then we ended up hugging one another anyway LOL

WAIYUIN IS A PHOTOBOMBER. LOL he refused to get out of the picture!

And Wai Yuin and his never-ending scandals 😛

Then we headed to Phnom Penh Night Market!!!! Super shiok omg. Spent like crazy, most clothing didn’t need much bargaining. One shirt USD 2.50, one shoe USD 4, super shiok LOL. The market was so bustling I was afraid I would lose any valuables but thankfully, no. 😀

LOL wore spectacles so I could see better in the dark HAHA I have a bit of night blindness.

Can’t wait to go home and lay out all my purchases hahaha 😀

Reflections were about the genocidal sites, and some insights into Singapore history that most people are unaware of. So it’s quite understandable that Cambodians don’t know of this genocide in this own country, because every country practices media censorship to cover their dirty past. Sigh.

Day 7

We’re going to a slum today! Apparently the slum’s really like a cui and we’re going to give them 5kg bags of rice… to be a blessing to their village. But they’ll be snatching and everything out of desperation so we have to be mentally prepared :/

Jiawen and Chenxi couldn’t wake up and we were knocking frantically on their doors because they didn’t even turn up for breakfast and ignored their phone calls. It’s quite funny haha 😀 then they started to panic and did everything at full productivity LOL packing presents and everything.

Really sleepy today because of late night talking last night. But I will survive! 😀 one last full day with a campfire then it’s done.. and we’d be back to Singapore. Don’t know whether to be happy or sad, 😦

Visited the slum early in the morning, surprisingly it wasn’t as bad as we expected. In fact there were quite…average living conditions, they had power, they could get light, they had televisions. But it was really small and the only way you could access their homes was through those small alleys where there are many many houses down the street. I wonder how they even build a house there. We went into Bun Rong’s house, and the planks looked like they were about to collapse anything LOL We had to balance our weight throughout the house, which is like small…?

On the way to the slum 😀

Their homes along a really narrow alley.

However despite the average living conditions, they were still very desperate, say… like some old woman kept on dragging us around to visit her family because they desperately wanted rice. I mean, who wouldn’t want free rice of course? Life ain’t that sweet afterall. And of course our own house is a lot bigger…? Just that they could actually contain all the amenities they needed in that small 10m x 5m space.

We had to walk 7-10minutes into the slum before distributing the 5kg sacks of rice to the families haha. Hopefully we blessed their village in a way 🙂 and hopefully no one fights or anything after we leave just because we couldn’t provide them rice- because there were like 300-400 families in the area but we only had 80 sacks of rice.

Bun Rong chose the households for us to provide rice for. Hopefully those families that didn’t receive anything won’t hate them or anything- and hopefully he wasn’t biased in any way. Hopefully our visit didn’t cause any harm or anything to their family :/

The children in the holding area were quite… ill-disciplined. They kept on fighting and bullying one another but we couldn’t stop them because we couldn’t speak Khmer! They were so… unruly and rough. Jiawei was saying that she doesn’t want her kids to grow up like them in the future. HAHA 😀

Having that large belly because of the disease… I remember it starts with ‘K’, I’m not a Bio student so I don’t remember things I learnt from Year 2 hehe I’m sorry Ms Pan!
Edit: okay Chenxi told me it’s Kwashiorkor :/ thank you Chansey!

We walked back singing old OSTs of Taiwan dramas haha 😀 and we went to a Chinese restaurant for lunch! Finally Chinese food after so long, but I miss homecooked food more- and even more of bubble tea… And all the junk food in Singapore! The soups they provide at Cambodia are pretty good though- I had like 3 bowls hehhe.

NCC Year 4s! 10 of us, just nice all the time hehe.

After which we went down to the orphanage to spend time with the children there and got them to draw pictures for donors and those who helped 🙂 most of them are really sweet- thanked us for visiting the orphanage, and trying to help them in any way possible. Most of them 15-16 years old like us, sat down and helped us draw as well. HAHA. Omg we almost died cause we thought we couldn’t find any children to draw for us- but Bun Rong and some others actually sat down to help us! That idea in itself is quite funny.

AWKWARD hahha people of our age doing colouring and drawing LOL

Saw Sophia’s brother! It felt a little weird interacting with people of our age- I mean like we used to be hugging 7 year old children, giving them piggyback rides throughout Rumdual Island, but now it was like interacting with people your age- the eye contact is weird enough haha. I really need to learn to open up more- I didn’t know how to ask other questions apart from

“How old are you?”
“Do you have a sister/brother?”

And then we’d just laugh and the awkward conversations end there LOL. Sometimes I’ll try to break the ice by showing them my phone wallpaper- which are my siblings. Hehe quite cool~ then they would repeat after me “my brother, my sister” HAHA SO CUTE!

Jiawei and I didn’t belong to Campfire group so at some point in time we were bored and we started playing on the swing.

Acting gay because we bought the same friendship bands LOL.

Had to blow balloons and tie them up for decorations, and a burst balloon by GONG flew directly to my eye ouch. I hope my vision’s not affected in any way -_-

Balloons all tied up!

Holding a string of balloons in my gay socks hehe

Gosh, tonight’s the last night here, I’m definitely going to miss all of this a lot. Playing with children, going through conditions that cannot be compared to that of Singapore’s, and interacting with so many people here, from children to teenagers. Can’t believe it’s been so long already, taking a picture at the airport seemed so yesterday :/

And the dread that comes whenever an overseas trip ends is here again. I don’t want to go back to Singapore, settle more powerpoint presentations now that we got into the finals of the Clean & Green Town Planning competition, finish up holiday homework and more projects… omg. I’m seriously going to miss all my time here.

And probably that’s why it is explicitly stated in the packing list for us not to bring any homework 🙂

Shall get ready for the campfire and enjoy, before blogging again tonight! 😀

Okay la got free time so I shall type more. The spread is pretty awesome 😀 authentic Cambodian food! And the last dinner here, I’d better enjoy this! The songs they play for the campfire are pretty hip- Lovey Dovey / Roly Poly for a start, and then there’s Love You Like A Love Song and a few Big Bang songs apart from all those in Cambodian 😛

Part of Delta having dinner because campfire group was busy being emcees and organising the whole campfire hahaha.

Zoom in on the food!

Shall start feasting because Wai Yuin is stealing food already hahaha don’t want to be left with all the remaining food!

Campfire was damn fun hehe omg we just ran around taking pictures, exchanging dances. Oh my god the kids damn zai, their dance went on and on and it’s so damn nice T_T I feel like a stone doing FSD HAHAHA.

Pass the parcel LOL Qinping was damn sad he had to keep running around HAHAHA.

But I guess it’s pretty impressive… Even though there’s a lot of screw-ups? 😀

And the bubble-blower was so fun LOL everyone was amazed by that! Chenxi best buy ever hahaha

OMG MY BUBBLE DAMN BIG RIGHT. I don’t know who took this picture but it’s really nice and I look like a pro at it LOL

They are so nice, dragging us around to learn dances and everything. The dinner was pretty awesome too, then there’s bubble-blowing and everything. The interaction was so awesome and they were walking us all the way out and saying bye, forming a human chain all the way to the bus just to Hi-5 with us 😦

They were so nice! 🙂

One of the imba pro dancers. My goodness LOL they were so young and they danced so freaking well!!!

The epic moment when everyone just ran into the picture to join in hehehe

They are so freaking nice and warm really, warmly welcoming us despite all the different groups coming and go all the time… I really am very appreciative of how they accepted us so quickly.

On the way back, Chenxi asked Sophia’s brother for her name and I was like “KHAN SOK CHEA!!!”

And he was like “how do you know my name?”

“Sophia told us!” Then he rolled his eyes HAHAA. QUITE FUNNYYY but he’s so nice and he looks so much like Sophia 🙂 going to miss both of them so much too!

Thank you Sophia for missing your university classes just to be our translator 🙂 and being patient with all the friendship bands orders and everything, and trying to introduce more of the place to us hehehe. And the Khmer Rouge! I’m going to miss her so much hahaha.

Then there’s creepy stalkers after Jieling and #teamjiawei HAHAHA damn funny omg 😀

#teamjiawei appeals to all ages!

Going to miss Kolap 4 so much omg, and everyone was like saying “see you next year!” Gosh I really want to go back if I can have the chance hahaa.

They are all so nice hehehe

Day 8

The trip has ended! In the morning we just wrote the letter to ourselves which will be sent to us in 6 months time- which just reminds Presley that he’ll be getting his letter from OBS Sabah in 2 months time heh.

Bye room 405!

My retarded roommate hahaha

People wearing the same shirt taking a final shot at the hotel 😦

And now we’ve embarked on the journey to the airport, filling up immigration forms and taking the 1-hour plane ride home from Cambodia. On the 30-minute bus ride to the airport now 😀 shall have a pleasant sleep!

Bye Cambodia, hello Singapore! Singapore would probably feel like air-con because Cambodia is so so much hotter than Singapore 😦

Everyone looks horrendous because we weren’t prepared for the shot- we had to rush off to checkin LOL we were being rushed off so… HAHAHA.

Final food in Cambodia! The Chicken club LOL have to thank Mr Low for giving it up to me and in the end getting his second choice which he didn’t really want- so sorry and thank you hehehe!

and finally…

Reaching Singapore, home sweet home LOL. It was so shiok to pass customs because everyone was queueing in in the very very very long lines to clear customs but we just needed 30 seconds to pass the machine LOL. To see “Welcome to Singapore, NG HUI PING” so shiok HAHAHA.

Parents and brother fetched me and then I spent the whole day editing, uploading pictures and finally PRODUCING THIS BLOG POST which I typed out every single day on the bus, during free times, meal times. I have no idea how I managed to type out 7000 words with my Blackberry, that is the power of the QWERTY keypad 😀 And all the photos I took. I’m so glad I tried to maximise every opportunity to take photos 😀

And next time I will make sure to clear my memory before embarking on any overseas trips!

6 months later, I will read this whole blog post again, when I receive my letter. I think. 😀 This has been an enjoyable trip and I have not regretted a single bit for signing up for this OCIP instead of all the OELPs to all the attractive countries like Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. This is such a meaningful experience that I will never ever forget in my life hahaha. Not forgetting all the things I learnt about Cambodia, the things that are happening outside of my own country and all the conditions of the people in the country. This trip was simply amazing!

RV UG OCIP CAMBODIA 2012 was a blast, and I’m sure many of us would love to return to Rumdual Island and Kolap 4 again! NPCC + NCC + Guides for the win 😀


One thought on “RV UG OCIP Cambodia 2012

  1. Pingback: 从回忆中可找到美景 | nghuiping

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