At the end of a long bus journey I have to admit that my first impression of Sisophon town was not good. It's hot, dusty and very busy with many motorbikes and carts but after exploring for a few days and meeting people I am already beginning to like the place.
|Provincial Teacher Training College|
A large market at the centre of the town sells everything I could possibly need - and much more that I would not want! The Teacher Training College is close to the centre and I've found a house just round the corner. From the front it looks like a garage but inside it has a character of it's own. As yet it's not furnished but should be ready by the time I return from Khmer part 2. My neighbours are very friendly so I think I will be happy there.
Interviewing candidates for the job as my translator was quite stressful as the job meant so much to the interviewees. It was hard knowing I would disappoint four of them. Socha, my new VA (Volunteer Assistant) is a lovely young man who will take me out to schools and workshops on his motorbike and translate for me.
|Pre School class|
Much of my work will be in a group of schools used by the college for teaching practice. I visited two of these and was impressed by the lovely atmosphere. On the photo you see a young girl concentrating on her sums using drinking straws for counting. I asked what other maths resources they had. The headteacher looked confused for a moment than said 'Oh yes! Stones'. I'm really looking forward to beginning work here but know that I have to work hard on learning the language to do a good job.
|P'teah knyum - My house|
So now it's back to Kampong Cham and more Khmer lessons. The language is not as hard as I imagined. There are no tenses and no plurals, the difficult thing is learning the vocabulary and getting your tongue round the seemingly unpronounceable words. Sentences are like tongue twisters.