7 days in and our projects are progressing even better than we could have imagined. Incredible events have unfolded; through the unanticipated involvement of community members and children, our projects have been expedited. We are all constantly amazed at how willing everyone is to jump in and help at any given time.

Our group is divided into 6 committees: construction, medical, education, cultural, micro finance, gardening.

The construction committee has been primarily working on building a new bathroom. 6 years ago, the school bathroom stopped functioning properly and was abandoned. We have been working to restore this bathroom and a new bathroom is almost completed. By the time we have to leave, we hope to have completed the construction of a boys and girls bathroom. In addition to the bathroom project, the construction committee is also working on building a fence for the school. This fence is an important aspect of our gardening project – previously, animals, such as wild cows and chickens, had destroyed the school garden and disrupted the school atmosphere.
The medical committee has been teaching dental hygiene (which the kids love), anatomy, and other crucial medical practices. The village and school have a separate medical clinic, and at this clinic, the medical committee has been teaching more lessons, such as safe birthing practices. One of our beloved mentors, Rich, provided a wonderful demonstration of proper birthing techniques.
Daily, we have about 10 people teaching English and Art lessons to the children. These lessons range from math to fruit to sports. Teaching was one of those things Britnie told us that we would fall in love with, and despite the difficulties, many of us have.
Without the cultural committee, the opening ceremony would not have been possible. More information about the opening ceremony can be found in the previous post by Britnie. The cultural committee will also help us go out with a bang, in that they will organize the closing ceremony.

The micro finance program is ultimately intended to lift people from poverty by providing loans to women to start small businesses. We slightly tweaked this program to fit the needs of Cambodia by switching the program’s primary focus to livestock, such as cows, pigs, and chicken. Individuals can sell the products of these animals, such as milk and eggs, as well as sell the offspring of such animals in order to earn money. The micro finance committee has been working to teach basic business skills as well as implement the program.
The school we have been working at had garden, but due to the lack of care, the garden failed to grow properly. The gardening committee has been working hard to revive this garden in hopes of inspiring the community. Wild animals have been a problem however, and the gardening committee has been working to resolve this problem.
While it has been physically grueling at times, we are enjoying ourselves. It has been absolutely amazing to see the tangible results of our actions – thank you to all of you who have supported us and helped us get here. Be sure to stop by the blog as we will try to update it regularly – internet connectivity is limited though, so please bear with us. See you soon!

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